Coffee ‘hit’ may all be in the mind

Many rely on caffeine to kick-start the day but researchers claim effects are all in the mind

Millions swear by an early morning caffeine hit to kick-start the day and boost performance but researchers claim the stimulating effects of the drink may all be in the mind.

British researchers took 88 coffee-loving volunteers giving some caffeinated coffee and telling them it was decaffeinated, while others were given decaffeinated but were told it contained caffeine.

The researchers from the University of East London then conducted a series of tests designed to measure mental performance, reaction times and mood.

Those who wrongly thought they’d been given caffeine showed increased performance levels compared to the genuine coffee drinkers.

This could suggest that the powers of coffee actually lay in the consumers anticipation of the caffeine, not the substance itself.

The researchers said: ‘The findings suggest the expectation of having consumed caffeine confers an enhancement on sustained attention that is at least comparable, and perhaps superior to, the effects of caffeine.’

According to the British Coffee Association, British consumers drink approximately 70 million cups a day, maybe it’s time to switch to decaf?

Do YOU agree? Does coffee boost YOUR performance? Tell us in the box below…


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