I've repeatedly documented the many scientific studies showing that coffee improves your health by reducing risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Parkinson's disease. I haven't written that much, though, about the mental and physical effects of caffeinated coffee.
According to the University of California at Santa Barbara, caffeine stimulates the production of adrenaline. While consistent, uncontrollably high levels of adrenaline can damage your health, it's also the closest thing we have to a real-life "super serum."
Here are the immediate benefits of downing a cup of coffee:
1. You work more quickly.
Since your reaction time decreases, you can follow a train of thought more quickly, translate those thoughts into words or actions more quickly. Due to the effect of compound interest, over an elapsed time, even a 5% increase in reaction time translates into a huge amount of time saved.
2. Your vision improves.
Specifically, your pupils dilate thus allowing more light to reach your retina. This allows you to better differentiate shapes, including faces in a room, letters on a page, slides on a screen, and so forth. This is especially true in environments that lack ideal lighting conditions.
3. You oxygenate better.
Your smooth muscle relax, allowing you to take in more air--and thus more oxygen--with each breath. (This is why asthmatics take adrenaline during attacks.) The additional oxygen flows from your bloodstream into your brain, improving its overall performance.
4. You feel less pain.
In order to prep you up to "fight or flight, " adrenaline blocks the pain response from whatever aches and pains you're currently experiencing. This eliminates distractions that might otherwise imped your concentration and performance.
5. Your immune system improves.
Because adrenaline preps up your body for an attack, it makes your immune system temporarily more effective, allowing you to better fight off infections. This makes you less likely to catch illnesses from your coworkers.
6. You become physically stronger.
While you may not be able to lift cars to save babies (apparently that's an urban myth), adrenaline does increase your physical strength, which is why so many athletes take caffeine before competing. Strength=stamina=you're less tired and more productive.
7. You can work smart without sleep.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense prescribes coffee for situations where soldiers do not have the opportunity to get a full night's sleep (as in combat.) While it's not the same as getting a good night's sleep, it's a useful tool when you're prevented from getting one.