Caffeine is a necessary part of our lives. What else keeps us conscious at our 8 am classes or helps us get through a procrastination fueled all nighter? Caffeine is our relentless, addictive mistress, but we wouldn't trade her for anything. 

milk, dairy product, yogurt, cream, sweet, jug, coffee, juice, tea
Gabby Phi

Beyond just perking us up in the morning, however, caffeine has been shown to prevent memory loss and degenerative cognitive illnesses.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee found that consuming caffeine can prevent memory loss and cognitive diseases. Basically, drinking your daily dose of coffee, tea, or the occasional Redbull on a particularly challenging study night, can keep you from developing debilitating illnesses such as dementia. 

The researchers, led by Ira Driscoll, a professor of psychology at the university, studied the caffeine habits of 6,467 postmenopausal women for 10 years, while testing the women's cognitive function each year. They found that women who drank above 261 mg of caffeine per day were less likely to develop memory-related illnesses throughout the ten year study.

coffee, tea, sweet, ice, milk
Asia Coladner

261 mg is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee, 5 to 6 cups of black tea, or about 2 cans of Redbull. Even chocolate contains a small amount of this memory-saving stimulant. You can play around with the numbers depending on your preferred mode of caffeination.

coffee, chocolate, cereal, espresso, cappuccino, mocha, sweet, black beans
Abby Reisinger

You don't have to wait until you reach postmenopause to start preventing debilitating illnesses. Simply drop what you're doing and start brewing a fresh pot of java—just make sure it's not decaf.