Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Column Archive |  On Twitter: J Huget and MisFits  |  Fitness & Nutrition News  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Does caffeine really wake you up?

Does that cup of coffee, latte or cappuccino that you drink every morning really wake you up? Well, a new study has some surprising findings about what caffeine really does to you.

Peter Rogers of the University of Bristol in England and his colleagues studied 379 volunteers, about half of whom typically consumed little or no caffeine on a daily basis and about half of whom consumed medium to high amounts. The researchers asked the volunteers to abstain from consuming any caffeine for 16 hours and then gave them either caffeine or a placebo. Each participant then rated their levels of anxiety, alertness and whether they got a headache.

Not surprisingly, those who typically consumed medium to high amounts of caffeine reported they were less alert and more likely to get a headache when they took the placebo but not when they got their caffeine fix, the researchers report in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. But those who got caffeine reported levels of alertness that were no higher than those who typically don't get much caffeine who received a placebo. That suggests that caffeine only brings coffee drinkers back up to their normal state, probably because they develop a tolerance for its effects over time.

In addition, the researchers found that caffeine does not appear to adversely affect those with a genetic predisposition to anxiety. In fact, the study subjects with a variation of a gene that has been associated with anxiety tended to consume slightly more cofffee than those without the anxiety gene even though they reported more anxiety. That suggests that a mild increase in anxiety may actually be part of what most people consider to be the pleasant buzz they get from their daily dose of caffeine.

By Rob Stein  |  June 2, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Nutrition and Fitness , Psychology , Stress  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Can we beat childhood obesity?
Next: Wikipedia cancer info. passes muster

Comments

and in other, "breaking" news - Kermit the Frog reports the sky is blue.
Caffeine is a drug...and the body treats it as any other drug. With continued, regular use, you'll eventually need more to get you more "alert".

Posted by: robjdisc | June 2, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Caffeine is a drug -- legal but a drug. If high-caffeine consumers go cold turkey and abstain for at least two days they'll go through horrific withdrawal headaches. I swore off coffee a few years back because of heartburn and trouble sleeping, eased into tea and now drink decaf tea. Yeah, I know, it's like drinking warm water. I spent the first two days in bed with a cold towel over my face. Headaches as bad as migraines but now I wake up without headaches each morning.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | June 2, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mmm....coffee

Posted by: momj47 | June 2, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

a life long coffee drinker, i agree that some may need more to get a lift, I used to drive 60 miles to work, and at that time MCdonald had not changed their coffee, I WOULD DRINK A REGULAR COFFEE, or as i called it industrail strength, and was at full charge for the day.

Posted by: dv1236 | June 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"In addition, the researchers found that caffeine does not appear to adversely affect those with a genetic predisposition to anxiety. In fact, the study subjects with a variation of a gene that has been associated with anxiety tended to consume slightly more cofffee than those without the anxiety gene even though they reported more anxiety. That suggests that a mild increase in anxiety may actually be part of what most people consider to be the pleasant buzz they get from their daily dose of caffeine."

Did you analyze this data correctly?

Don't you mean that the caffeine when consumed by a person with mild anxiety has a double negative and calming effect...just like alcohol a depressant when consumed by a mildly depressed person has a double negative or uplifting effect?

Posted by: bozorecon | June 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the 'Dews' effect was addressed in this study? In operant conditioning you cannot predict the influence of a drug on behavior without knowing the base rate of the behavior before the drug was given. Highly agitated people, when given an amphetamine will actually reduce their rate of responding - the same is true for low base rate behavior - give a 'depressant' they increase their rate of responding.

Posted by: drralph | June 2, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Mmm....coffee

Posted by: momj47 | June 2, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abus


DITTO...............

Posted by: nall92 | June 2, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me what this paragraph means? Either it is 1:44 am or this paragraph doesn't make sense:

In addition, the researchers found that caffeine does not appear to adversely affect those with a genetic predisposition to anxiety. In fact, the study subjects with a variation of a gene that has been associated with anxiety tended to consume slightly more coffee than those without the anxiety gene even though they reported more anxiety. [who is they]

Posted by: eiregoddess | June 5, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

My favorite part of this are the comments that call into question how accurately these "findings" were analyzed (I agree, BTW).

Otherwise, I wonder why I bother looking at these "studies" - surprise! Caffeine wakes you if you're used to drinking it every day. Shocking, shocking news, folks...

Posted by: nagatuki | June 8, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company