Wake up call for caffeine

By Sarah Britton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Caffeine

Wake up call for caffeine
Energy drink, tea and coffee manufacturers may have to rethink their ingredients formulations and claims, following the publication of a new study,...

Energy drink, tea and coffee manufacturers may have to rethink their ingredients formulations and claims, following the publication of a new study, which claims that caffeine does not make people more alert.

Caffeine, the most popular drug in the world is renowned for its psychostimulant effects. But Peter Rogers, professor of biological psychology at Bristol University, believes that regular caffeine consumption may have little or no short-term positive effect on alertness, cognitive function and work performance.

In tests where caffeine consumers (coffee drinkers) were deprived of the drug overnight, they were tired, but soon perked up after receiving their regular morning dose.

"A possible explanation for the results would be that withdrawal of caffeine is having a negative effect," says Rogers. "Or it could be that caffeine restores alertness and performance to, but not above, normal levels."

Another experiment took place to observe the effects of caffeine on long-term abstinent caffeine consumers. They did not benefit from the caffeine, which drew Rogers to the conclusion that "drowsiness is elevated in people in a state of acute caffeine withdrawal"

The British Coffee Association acknowledges Rogers' theory, but refutes the claim. "Caffeine absolutely does have a positive effect on alertness and concentration," claims a spokeswoman. "While we find Rogers' study interesting, there is a wealth of scientific research to say that caffeine does have a beneficial effect."

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