If you’re looking for brain-boosting drinks that will increase your focus and optimize your memory, you’ve come to the right place. We all know the obvious beverages to avoid, the ones that hurt our brain function such as high sugar drinks like soda and alcoholic beverages, but you may be surprised at what drinks are actually good for brain health. Here is our list of the top five drinks to support a healthy mind.
1. Your Morning Isn’t the Same Without It
Coffee and studying go together like peanut butter and jelly, and it’s not just because coffee is chock full of caffeine, although that’s part of it. Caffeine has been shown to make the brain more alert, more focused, and with quicker reaction time but it’s worth noting that caffeine consumption only helps when it’s in moderation, around 40-300mg or ½-3 cups. Aside from this, coffee contains something called chlorogenic acid, which is an antioxidant that can improve brain health.
2. Tea for 2 (you and your brain!)
Although tea contains less caffeine than coffee, its staying power through centuries should be an indication of how powerful it can be on the brain's ability to focus and retain information. Green tea, specifically, contains l-theanine, which has been proven to enhance cognitive abilities, even as we age. If you’re struggling with “brain fog” or a general lack of focus, try adding a cup of green tea to your diet.
3. Say Yes to the Greens
Some of our most innovative minds such as Steve Jobs have hailed green juice as the brain health beverage to beat. Green juices and smoothies can be packed with antioxidants from leafy greens, and vitamins from fruit, plus they’re tasty to drink. If you’re going to opt for a green smoothie to improve your brain health, be sure to check that it has ingredients like kale or spinach, green apples, and herbs such as turmeric or lemongrass.
4. Pulp or No Pulp
Orange juice is the answer to late-night study sessions as it keeps you focused and alert without disrupting your sleep schedule. Although orange juice does have a healthy amount of sugar it also contains almost your whole daily dose of vitamin c in a single cup. Vitamin c gives a plethora of neuroprotective benefits, meaning helping protect the neurons in your brain from degeneration and/or injury.
5. Say What?
If you aren’t familiar with Kombucha, i.e. you don’t live in California, it’s a bubbly fermented drink that is a combination of black tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. Kombucha hasn’t been researched as extensively as some of the other picks, so we aren’t sure if it really lessens inflammation or boosts immunity, but it does contain catechins. Catechins are a natural antioxidant found in both green tea and kombucha, which may improve memory and preserve brain health. Catechins also defend against cellular damage in the brain by lowering the number of free radicals. Be advised: kombucha has a unique taste and must be stored properly so that bad bacteria doesn’t form.
Brain health is vitally important to the way we live our lives, and if these beverages improve cognitive function, we really all should drink up.