Focus on The Benefits
“People who think ADHD means having a short attention span misunderstand what ADHD is. A better way to look at it is that people with ADHD have a dysregulated attention system.” – Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.
Dr. Kathleen Nadeau’s words very much hit the nail on the head when it comes to the subject of focus in people with ADHD. Some find it easy to be distracted, while others have hyperfocus, which can make it difficult to change from one activity to another. If you are a female professional who is having difficulty concentrating on new tasks at work or in your academic life, there are many complementary therapies that can heighten your focus and help you achieve what you have set out to do. One of these is coffee, which studies have shown to be a helpful aid in boosting attention and memory. If you have or are at a risk for depression, however, coffee may not be for you. One large-scale study on women found that caffeine consumption is linked to a higher risk for this mental disease.
The European Food Safety Authority recently conducted research into the effect of caffeine on attention. Their review included various studies which showed that caffeine increases selective attention (focusing on a stimulus) and sustained attention (maintaining concentration for an extended time frame). They concluded that 75mg of caffeine was successful at boosting attention. Another 2012 review found that caffeine improves performance on tasks and boosts attention to a significant extent.
Coffee Enhances Memory
To work in a focused state on a work project, it is vital for the working memory to work optimally and coffee can help with that. A study by researchers at John Hopkins University found that coffee has cognitive enhancing effects. It also strengthens memories, making them more resistant. In the study, researchers conducted a double-blind trial in which participants were divided into two groups: one received a caffeine tablet five minutes after studying a set of images, while the other received a placebo. The next day, both groups were tested on their ability to differentiate between two similar images, to test memory and retention. The results showed that those who consumed caffeine performed significantly better than those who didn’t.
Caffeine and Women and Depression
If you have depression in addition to ADHD, coffee may not be the best choice of beverage for you. One large study on women found that depression risks increase with caffeine consumption. The researchers also noted that in individuals who are sensitive to caffeine, coffee sometimes produces sleep disturbance and insomnia. Therefore whether or not coffee is right for you depends on your current sleep quality and whether or not you are battling anxiety or depression. If you notice that it makes you nervous, jittery, or irritable, reduce or stop your consumption and talk to your doctor about its suitability.
What Type of Coffee to Consume?
To obtain the maximum benefits from coffee, try to steer clear of instant or overly processed varieties. Grind your beans and brew your cup from scratch. The aroma and intensity of flavor will definitely be worth it. There are many easy and quick ways to enjoy the real thing wherever you are. A coffee press, single serve coffee maker, or espresso machine will deliver a quality cup without taking up too much space or weighing too much.
Which Coffee is Best?
The amount of caffeine that reaches your cup depends on the type of bean, as well as the way you grind and brew it. Darker roasts actually contain less caffeine than lighter ones because they are made with higher heat. Coffees that take longer to brew – for instance, drip coffees – contain more caffeine, as do those that are more finely ground. Observe your reaction when drinking different styles and types of coffee and go with the one that boosts alertness without making you feel nervous.
Coffee can form an important part of your diet, especially if honing your focus is on the agenda. Try making your coffee from scratch to take advantage of its full benefits, and test yourself on the ideal brew for optimal alertness. Coffee has many additional benefits that may surprise you, including the ability to help you lead a longer life and to reduce the likelihood of developing several types of cancer. Keep it healthy by skipping on sweeteners and additive and enjoy ‘liquid gold’ the way it was meant to be… strong, fragrant, and all-natural.
Special thanks for the contribution from freelance writer Jess Walter.