Coffee and Your Brain - A Good Combination?

People are drinking more coffee worldwide, and research seems to show that increased coffee consumption could be helpful to our brains. Will it prevent dementia and the need for long-term care? Too early to tell.

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Coffee and Your Brain - A Good Combination?
3 Min Read January 7th, 2022

You see the coffee places all over. Starbucks and Duncan Donuts are selling coffee like crazy in the U.S. Even McDonald's promotes coffee. Many people start their day with coffee, and you are likely one of them. Americans consume over 400 million cups of coffee per day. Coffee consumption is not limited to the United States. Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwideChina and India are the two leading nations on the planet in coffee consumption, with the U.S. being number three. 

In the U.S., the northeast was the leading region in coffee consumption in the United States, drinking roughly 1.97 cups of coffee per capita per day. The South drank the least, with about 1.8 cups a day.

Starbucks has been the leading seller of coffee in the United States, and for a while, they were the clear leader. Now premium coffee outlets like Starbucks are faced with competition from more traditional fast-food outlets like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, selling “cheaper, but almost as good, coffees.” Now Duncan Donuts is the number two coffee outlet. No matter where you are getting your coffee … Americans and people worldwide are drinking a lot of it.

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All that coffee consumption is perhaps doing more than giving us a buzz of energy every morning. Caffeine from our morning coffee provides us with the energy to start the day, but could it be doing more? 

Coffee and Increased Brain Focus

Research shows that as we reach for that second and third cup of coffee every day, it might be helping our brain. Researchers in Portugal say people who regularly drink coffee are not only more alert but see more activity in their brains as well.

University of Minho research indicates consuming more caffeine each day can make coffee drinkers more focused while also displaying more significant memory and learning abilities.

The research shows that the effects on the brain can be immediate. Results show non-coffee drinkers could start seeing benefits for a short time after a single cup of coffee. Those drinking their caffeinated coffee were also less likely to let their minds wander allow them to better focus through the day.

Coffee and Decreased Risk of Dementia

Caffeine has well-known short-term stimulating effects on the central nervous system, but research has shown moderate coffee drinkers had a 65%-70% decreased risk of dementia and a 62%-64% reduced risk of Alzheimer's compared with low coffee drinkers.

Previous studies have shown that coffee drinking not only improves our mental performance but may reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease.

All of this can be important as we live in an aging society. Our bodies and health decline with age. Our risk of memory loss and dementia increase as we get older. Alzheimer's and other dementia is a leading cause of people needing long-term health care. 

Dementia Care is Costly

The financial impact of dementia is tremendous as health insurance and Medicare won't pay for most long-term health care. Medicaid will pay for long-term care but only if you have little or no income and assets. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for long-term care services, but you cannot purchase a policy when you need the care - it must be obtained when you are younger and healthier. 

According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, long-term health care costs are rising rapidly nationwide - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

Drink More Coffee?

Should you go drink more coffee? Careful, as too much caffeine can be detrimental. Plus, the research is not yet conclusive as to whether coffee will prevent dementia. 

You can plan for your future retirement by including a Long-Term Care Insurance policy in your retirement plan. A policy will not prevent you from needing care, but it will give you access to your choice of quality care options, including in-home care. 

Go grab a cup of coffee and do some research. Being prepared for the costs and burdens of aging will protect savings and reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on those you love.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

People require long-term health care due to changes in their health, body, and mind. Whether you become ill, have mobility problems, or have other aging issues, being prepared will reduce the stress and anxiety placed on family members and give you peace of mind to enjoy your future retirement.

Family caregivers face physical and emotional challenges they must deal with as they juggle their work and family responsibilities along with being a caregiver.

Professional care services are expensive and adversely impact income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy. The costs are expected to climb even higher in the decades ahead, placing tremendous financial pressure on American families. 

Start researching your coverage options before retirement. Most people purchase coverage in their 50s—the earlier, the better to save money and take advantage of good health discounts.

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LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

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Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities

If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.

Take a moment and read - 

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You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

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