If you have learned anything from delving into the world of healthy living, it’s that the ‘scientific consensus’ on the benefits/dangers of certain substances can change often and rapidly. This is especially true for two of the most beloved drinks in the world – beer and coffee. While you may abstain or completely indulge in either of these drinks for numerous reasons, know that both of them do in fact offer benefits and dangers depending on how they are consumed. Needless to say, everything in moderation.

Anyone can do a cursory search on Pubmed to see the health benefits (or dangers) of coffee or beer, but the fact is that both can be used safely to elicit certain affects in the brain. One infographic even shows how the two beverages can be used in an extended combination to ignite brain activity for the better, helping you to formulate ideas and later execute them.

One of the primary parts of the brain that comes into play here is the cerebral cortex, an area responsible for thought, language, and overall information processing. When you drink beer or any alcohol, this part of the brain becomes “lazy”. You feel less focused, your ability to memorize things is hampered, and attention span decreases.

But when drinking beer in limited amounts (about 2 drinks), you also open the door for creativity, partly due to worrying less about the problems that may plaque your mind. Unfortunately, you may not feel the need to act on this creativity while intoxicated. Well, that’s where coffee can offer some assistance.

Read: Avoiding Diabetes, Depression, and More with Coffee

Unlike beer or alcohol, coffee helps to ‘excite’ the brain, paving way for more focus and energy. This is due to the caffeine’s ability to help re-route a chemical known as adenosine. Adeonsine typically binds to adenosine receptors, which can cause drowsiness, but when caffeine enters, the receptor binds to caffeine instead of the chemical adenosine. Result=more energy.

So how do you combine beer and coffee for this creative effect? When relaxing, try having only a couple beers to open your creativity, and search for that winning idea. The next day or hours later, try having some coffee to help you focus and execute that idea.

And remember – drink too much of either, and you may lose the benefits of both. Everything in moderation.

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