Study Questions the Effectiveness of Caffeine

Your morning coffee may just be increasing your caffeine dependency, not waking you up

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Are you getting a lift from your morning coffee, or just drinking it out of dependence?

Research led by Peter Rogers, a professor of biological psychology at Bristol University and a leading expert on caffeine, demonstrated that your morning cup of coffee is a sign of “mass drug dependence.”

After conducting research with 300 participants in each study, Roger’s findings pointed to an important conclusion: although it does kee you awake, coffee doesn't make you any more alert than non-coffee drinkers. The volunteers, some with high caffeine intake, and others with low, were split into two random groups, all having given up coffee for 16 hours prior. They were given either coffee or a placebo. The participants who regularly had coffee saw an increase in alertness following coffee intake. However, they became only as alert as the non-coffee drinkers who had the placebo. The study found that those who drink coffee on a regular basis are not able to function “normally” without caffeine in their system, simply because their bodies demonstrate signs of withdrawal without it. The fatigue, mental fogginess, and headache are not signs that you are tired — it's a sign that your body is craving caffeine.

The public is constantly bombarded with information about coffee and the effects of caffeine. Some experts say you should drink it; others suggest you shouldn’t drink it. A study by Harvard researchers came to the conclusion that moderation is key. Professor Rogers himself says he avoids this conundrum by only drinking decaffeinated tea and coffees for the antioxidants, minus the caffeine dependence. 

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