New research shows that a cup of coffee may improve everyday long-term memories. The study, conducted at Johns Hopkins University, asked participants to memorize a list of objects. Afterward, they were given either a placebo or 200 milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to a little more than one cup of coffee). The next day, they were tested again. The group that took caffeine had 10 percent better recall.
“The people who took caffeine had a much more detailed recollection of what they saw,” says Michael Yassa, the lead author of the paper. “Caffeine has long been ingested for its cognition-enhancing properties: It makes you more alert, you focus on the task at hand better; that’s been tested in many studies,” Yassa says.