Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coffee buzz-kill

I hope this isn't true. If it is, I have wasted thousands of dollars and thousands of hours, and I can't stop now. They had 379 people go without coffee for 16 hours and then take either caffeine or a placebo and take some response tests. Coffee did not increase alertness.

Heavy coffee drinkers who got the placebo reported lower alertness and higher headache, but their alertness matched non-coffee-drinkers who got a placebo.

They guess, and I guess, that we become tolerant to caffeine, and without it we feel a little low, and coffee brings us back to normal.

The authors also found that the genetic predisposition to anxiety did not deter coffee drinking. In fact, people with the gene variant associated with anxiety tended to consume slightly larger amounts of coffee than those without the variant, suggesting that a mild increase in anxiety may be a part of the pleasant buzz caused by caffeine.

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