- Studies have shown that caffeine is the strongest.
- Just by following the five principles and changing the way you drink, you'll maximize the arousing effect of your concentration!
Studies have shown that caffeine is the strongest.
Earlier, I introduced a lesson on how to improve your concentration.
How to Improve Your Concentration Fourfold
In this article, I'll show you how to use caffeine as a more convenient technique for improving your concentration.
Although there are many supplements that are touted as “good for the brain,” the reality is that no other ingredient has been proven to be as effective as caffeine.
For example, piracetam, which was popularized as a “smart drug” that can legally increase concentration, has been shown to have only conjectural effects, and ginkgo biloba extract is useless except for mild dementia, so there is zero benefit for the average person to take it to increase concentration.
Natascia Brondino, Annalisa De Silvestri, Simona Re, Niccolò Lanati, Pia Thiemann, Anna Verna, Enzo Emanuele, and Pierluigi Politi (2013) A Systematic Review and Meta Analysis of Ginkgo biloba in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: From Ancient Tradition to Modern Day Medicine
But caffeine is different.
The benefits have been confirmed by multiple studies, and the consensus in the scientific community is as follows.
Tad T. Brunyé, Caroline R. Mahoney, Harris R. Lieberman, and Holly A. Taylor (2010) Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function
- Drinking 150-200mg of caffeine will alleviate fatigue and improve attention span in about 30 minutes.
- Caffeine's effect on concentration is thought to be around 5% from baseline
Although there are differences in the detailed values, basically just drinking the caffeine of one can of coffee seems to improve concentration.
An increase in concentration of around 5% may not sound like much, but it's not.
In a German study of 39 chess players, those who drank 200 mg of caffeine were uniformly more focused, with a 6-8% increase in winning percentage over the placebo group.
Andreas G. Franke, Patrik Gränsmark, Alexandra Agricola, Kai Schühle, Thilo Rommel, Alexandra Sebastian, Harald E. Balló, Stanislav Gorbulev, Christer Gerdes, Björn Frank, Christian Ruckes, Oliver Tüscher, and KlausLieb (2017) Methylphenidate, Modafinil, and Caffeine for Cognitive Enhancement in Chess: A Double Blind, Randomised Controlled Trial
If we apply this level of improvement to a real game, it is comparable to a rise in the world rank of chess from 5000 to 3000.
Even if the difference is only a few percent, the realistic return is immeasurable.
Just by following the five principles and changing the way you drink, you'll maximize the arousing effect of your concentration!
However, caffeine has a strong effect on the brain, so it must be handled with care.
It is easy to be careless because it is so familiar to us, but if it is used incorrectly, the effect will be reduced by half, and there are many cases of adverse side effects.
Keep the following points in mind when using caffeine.
Do not drink more than two cans of coffee (400mg of caffeine) at a time.
Most studies show that the benefits of caffeine fade after 300 mg, and side effects occur at 400 mg and above.
Specifically, increased anxiety and agitation, headaches, and decreased short-term memory.
Although it is difficult to generalize because caffeine sensitivity varies greatly from person to person, it is not recommended to drink more than two cans of coffee at a time.
Add milk or cream to your coffee.
I have a natural weakness for caffeine, and even a little bit of coffee makes me nervous. ……
If you are one of those people, you can also add milk or cream to your coffee.
The fat content helps to calm the absorption of caffeine, which mildly wakes up the brain.
Haley A. Young David Benton (2013) Caffeine Can Decrease Subjective Energy Depending on the Vehicle with Which It Is Consumed and When It Is Measured
You can drink anything with fat, so you can also combine black coffee with yogurt or cheese in other ways.
Do not drink caffeine for 90 minutes after waking up.
Many people may wake up with a cup of coffee, but this is a bad idea from the perspective of improving concentration.
This is because the human body secretes cortisol, an arousal hormone, around 6 a.m., which gradually wakes us up.
It is a natural alarm system, so to speak.
Yet, if you drink caffeine right after waking up, the combination of the stimulating effect of cortisol and the stimulating effect on the brain will be too strong, and you are more likely to experience side effects such as increased heart rate, agitation, and increased risk of headaches.
Normally, cortisol begins to decrease within 90 minutes of waking up, so it is better to drink coffee after that time.
You can take advantage of the benefits of caffeine without jeopardizing the arousal function of cortisol.
Using 2BAlert, a scheduling service developed by the U.S. Army
The most troubling aspect of caffeine use is the amount and timing of intake.
First, if you take too much caffeine, your brain will gradually build up a tolerance to it and it will become less effective.
It is a common pattern among caffeine enthusiasts that the effects of energy drinks wear off due to continuous drinking, and they consume more of them to regain their wakefulness.
Timing is also very important. If you drink coffee at random intervals without thinking about it, the benefits of caffeine will be diminished.
If you add more caffeine when your blood levels are at their maximum, your body will not be able to process the ingredients.
In order to maximize the stimulating effect of concentration, you need to understand the half-life of caffeine while adding moderate amounts of it.
This is where “2BAlert” can be used.
This is a web service provided by a research institute of the U.S. Army, developed to reduce the amount of caffeine intake at one time to the limit and maximize its stimulating effect.
It examines previous research on caffeine and summarizes it into an algorithm for maximizing the effects of stimulation.
Experiments have been conducted to confirm the validity of this, and it is surprising to learn that subjects who used 2BAlert were able to increase their concentration by 10 to 64%, and also reduced their caffeine use by 65%.
Francisco G. Vital Lopez, Sridhar Ramakrishnan, Tracy J. Doty, Thomas J. Balkin, and Jaques Reifman (2018) Caffeine Dosing Strategies to Optimize Alertness During Sleep Loss
“2BAlert can be used by anyone who registers an email address.
Once you have accessed the site, enter your bedtime and wake-up time for the previous night in the “Sleep Schedule” section on the right side of the screen.
Then, the “Schedule” column at the bottom of the screen will show you the times and amounts of caffeine you should be drinking.
So the algorithm determines the optimal amount of caffeine based on the amount of sleep debt an individual has.
If you have been drinking coffee without thinking, try “2BAlert” to determine the best way to consume caffeine.
You'll be able to take advantage of the stimulating effects of caffeine more than ever before.
Drink with theanine, a relaxing ingredient found in green tea.
Theanine is a type of amino acid found in green tea.
It has long been famous for its relaxing properties, and after taking 50 to 200 mg, the alpha waves increase in about 40 minutes, and you begin to feel calmer.
In fact, in recent years, the possibility that this combination of theanine and caffeine may help with concentration has come to light.
In an experiment conducted by the University of Peradeniya, subjects who took theanine and caffeine at the same time were able to concentrate 4% better than the group who took caffeine alone.
Chanaka N. Kahathuduwa, Tharaka L. Dassanayake, A. M. Tissa Amarakoon, and Vajira S. Weerasinghe (2016) Acute Effects of Theanine, Caffeine and Theanine Caffeine Combination on Attention
This phenomenon is thought to be caused by the relaxing effect of theanine.
Theanine must have nullified the side effects of caffeine and left me feeling nicely awake.
It's a small-scale experiment that requires a follow-up test, but it's worth a try if you want to boost your concentration.
The amounts of ingredients used in the experiment were 200mg of caffeine and 160mg of theanine.
These two ingredients are also present in green tea, but if you want to have the same effect as in the experiment, you would have to drink about 6 to 10 cups at once.
While it is not impossible, it may be difficult to improve your concentration with commercially available teas.
Therefore, the use of supplements is recommended when you want to reproduce the experiment.
Both caffeine and theanine are sold in capsule form, so search the Internet for them.