Boost your brainpower and performance levels with a quick cup of coffee during stressful situations
Taking a much needed coffee break at work may be a bright idea for women, with new research showing that a caffeine-filled cup can improve our brainpower in stressful situations.
Bristol University researchers tested 64 men and women to examine the effects of coffee on the body when it was already under stress, especially when consumed in large quantities, such as during an office meeting!
The study found that caffeine boosted women’s performance but that it impaired men’s memories and slowed their decision-making.
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Psychologist Dr Lindsay St Claire says: ‘Many meetings, including those at which military and other decisions are made, are likely to be male-dominated.
‘Because caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world, the global implications are potentially staggering.’
The participants were divided into same-sex pairs and given tasks, from carrying out negotiations, memory tests and puzzles. Half the pairs were given decaffeinated coffee, while the others were given normal coffee.
Researchers found that mens’ performance in memory tests were ‘greatly impaired’ if they drank caffeinated coffee and that they took an average of 20 seconds longer to complete tasks than men on decaff.
Women completed the puzzles 100 seconds faster with the help of a cup of full-caffeine coffee, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology reports.
As a nation, we drink approximately 70 million cups of coffee a day, according to British Coffee Association and experts believe that the reason coffee effects the work performance of men and women differently is due to the way we respond to stress.
Previous studies have suggested that coffee may also provide protection against Alzheimer’s, diabetes, liver damage and gout.