Coffee doesn’t wake you up

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  • A new study has revealed that drinking coffee has no affect on the alertness of regular drinkers as they become immune to the effects of caffeine

    If your day doesn’t officially start until that first sip of coffee in the morning, it may surprise you to hear that caffeine has no effect on waking up regular coffee drinkers. 

    A new study on 379 volunteers, found no difference in alertness between coffee fiends and their non-caffeine drinking counterparts.

    Researchers asked participants to abstain from caffeine for 16 hours, and then gave half the group a shot of caffeine, and the other half a placebo.

    Of the heavy coffee drinkers, those given the placebo reported headaches and a decrease in alertness – neither of which were reported from those given caffeine.

    Non-caffeine drinkers also experienced negative side effects when they broke with their usual caffeine habits. Those given the placebo felt no difference, whereas those given caffeine experienced severe headaches and anxiety, whilst reportedly feeling no more alert than normal.

    This, say the researchers, suggests that caffeine only brings coffee drinkers back up to baseline or ‘normal’, and that the increase in alertness is merely the result of relieving caffeine withdrawal systems.

    ‘Although frequent consumers feel alerted by caffeine, especially by their morning tea, coffee or other caffeine-containing drink, evidence suggests that this is actually merely the reversal of fatiguing effects of acute caffeine withdrawal,’ said Peter Rogers from the University of Bristol, who led the study.

    However, scientists recommend continuing in your caffeine habits whatever these may be, to avoid suffering withdrawal symptoms.

    ‘Someone who consumes caffeine regularly when they’re at work but not at weekends runs the risk of feeling a bit rubbish by Sunday. It’s better to stick with it or keep off it altogether,’ says Rogers.


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