London: Does the morning cup of coffee help
you kick start the day? Not really, it`s all your mind, say
Researchers at the Bristol University found that the
effect of caffeine, which has been believed to be an energy
booster, does not actually increase people`s alertness and it
may rather raise the risk of anxiety and high blood pressure.
Lead researcher Peter Rogers said their findings suggest
that coffee drinkers may actually be better off without their
habitual morning mug.
"Our study shows that we don`t gain an advantage from
consuming caffeine -- although we feel alerted by it, this is
caffeine just bringing us back to normal," Rogers was quoted
as saying by the Daily Mail.
"On the other hand, while caffeine can increase anxiety,
tolerance means that for most caffeine consumers this effect
For the study, the researchers recruited 379 people who
abstained from caffeine for 16 hours before drinking either
caffeine or a placebo (dummy drink) and then were tested for a
range of responses.
All were asked to rate their levels of anxiety and
alertness and whether they had a headache before and after
being given the caffeine or the placebo.
They were also asked to carry out a series of computer
tasks to test their levels of memory, attentiveness and
Those who received the dummy drink reported a fall in
alertness and an increase in headaches, neither of which were
reported by those who received caffeine.
However, it was found that their post-caffeine levels of
alertness were no higher than those of no or low-level
consumers who received a placebo.
This suggests caffeine only brings coffee drinkers back
up to `normal`, the researchers said, adding that the findings
could also apply to those who say they rely on a morning cup
of tea to get their brains going.
They also found a genetic predisposition to anxiety did
not deter people from drinking coffee.
In fact, those with the gene variant associated with
anxiety tended to consume slightly larger amounts of coffee
than those without the variant, suggesting a mild increase in
anxiety may be a part of the pleasant buzz caused by caffeine.