Take Your Caffeine in Small Doses, with Sugar

by Chris Curley on July 5, 2012

Space out your cups of coffee throughout the day and add a little sugar to aid your productivity without diminishing your creativity or health, a how-to book suggests.

Business Insider reported June 30 that between 20 and 200 milligrams of caffeine is the optimal dose for cognitive performance and alterness, according to Chris Chathan, writer of Caffeine: A User’s Guide to Getting Optimally Wired. A cup of drip coffee has around 104 to 192 mgs of caffeine, according to the American Beverage Association.

While you may love to take your coffee black (and maybe to cut calories), combining sugar with caffeine actually improves the drug’s effect on your body, according a 2004 study in the journal Psychopharmacology.

But before you start knocking back coffee, chocolate, green tea, or another source of caffeine, consider the type of work you’re about to do, Chatham writes. While caffeine can increase your speed and attention to simple tasks, it is less helpful for very complex cognitive problems, research shows.

Previous studies have linked caffeine use — particularly coffee drinking — to reduced risk of skin, breast, and prostate cancer, as well as potentially lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

(Photo © Stepheye via Flickr)