Is Your Caffeine Buzz an Illusion?

By Mark Ramos

So many people out there are highly dependent upon their daily coffee and caffeine fix to begin their day. However, a recent study has shown that regularly drinking caffeine may not provide the alertness that you think, and the stimulant may be an illusion. This new research suggests that there is no benefit in stamina from drinking coffee every day.

The tests were done on 379 people who stopped drinking caffeine for more than 16 hours, and they were afterward given caffeine or a placebo to be tested. Between the subjects, there was very little variance in their levels of alertness, revealing that caffeine in itself could have a placebo effect on regular coffee drinkers. The Neuropsychopharmacology Journal recently published this study to show that those that regularly drink coffee may have a tolerance to caffeine's effects. Those that frequently drink coffee may feel alert, but the study showed that it could be due to reversing the effects of severe caffeine withdrawal that can often cause fatigue. Regular caffeine drinking also causes an increased anxiety and raised blood pressure if too much is consumed.

One of the main authors of the study, Peter Rogers of the University of Bristol's Department of Experimental Psychology, believes that there is no advantage to consuming caffeine, although many people feel that it helps them to maintain stamina and focus. He suggests that caffeine brings the regular coffee drinker back to a normal place after he or she has had caffeine withdrawal, and if you were to drink an excess amount of caffeine, it could cause anxiety as a side effect.

Half of the participants within the study were low or non-caffeine consumers, and the other half drank a medium to high amount of caffeine daily. The study participants were asked to reveal their levels of headache, alertness, and anxiety before and after they drank the caffeine or placebo, and they also had to complete computer tests to judge their alertness. Those that consumed a medium to high amount of caffeine and took a placebo showed an increase in their headache and decrease in alertness, which was not reported by the same group that had taken caffeine. The study revealed that there was no more alertness after drinking caffeine in the low caffeine consumer group and in those who had taken a placebo. The study showed that caffeine may only bring those that regularly drink coffee back to a normal state after they have had a caffeine withdrawal overnight. The study also revealed that those with a genetic predisposition toward anxiety had a tendency to drink larger amounts of coffee, which showed that a slight increase in anxiety could be part of the caffeine stimulant and buzz effect.

With the results of this study, you can take into consideration that health experts also recommend to drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee on a daily basis. This will offer you the health benefits that coffee provides with a small amount of caffeine that won't cause bad side effects!



Mark Ramos
Article by Mark Ramos
Mark Ramos is a coffee fanatic and owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection in all things coffee and espresso machines, check out www.thecoffeebump.com.

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