Coffee Might Boost Your Mood, But a Cup Won’t Help When You’re Trying to Do This
All beds are magical – they have this inviting charm that can pull us up back to Snoozeland anytime it wants to but you know what wakes us up from that zombie mode? Coffee.
Even the sweet, sweet aroma of it is enough to get us up and ready for the rest of the day. You don’t need to be a genius to know that a cup of joe wakes us up and gives us that jolt of energy.
However, if you’re feeling uninspired, a coffee fix may not be what you need, a study said. According to a research from the University of Arkansas, it is best for problem-solving but not for finding creative ideas.
They looked at the effects of caffeine on brainstorming and problem-solving and found that although it could boost your ability to solve problems, it didn’t affect the ability to think new concepts.
Why is that so? The team believes that these cognitive tasks need the brain to work in different ways. With the ability to find the solution, called convergent thinking, it requires a lot of cognitive procedures, like attention and executive control.
Coffee makes you feel energized and alert because it stimulates your nervous system, the experts say. The second is called divergent thinking, which involves a lot of novel responses that are essential for brainstorming.
Coming up with a new idea is born out of spontaneous thought and doesn’t really require much attention. This is why other studies have also found that boredom sets off creativity.
The researchers gave 88 participants (with an average age of 21) 200 mg caffeine or a placebo. They were given 72 problem-solving questions and three open-ended queries.
The authors argued that 200 mg, which is the same as a cup of coffee, may not be enough to stimulate brainstorming. Remember that a person can safely drink about two cups a day, but any excess of that can cause palpitations, dehydration, sleep issues, anxiety, and headaches.
As you can observe with the list, your creativity will not suffer if you have had too much caffeine, psychology assistant professor Darya Zabelina said.
Plus, coffee has a lot of perks. It could pick you up when you are down in the dumps because it’s an effective mood-booster. So even though it won’t be instrumental in squeezing out a nice idea, it would help you feel good about working on a task or project.
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