Coffee lovers believe a cup of hot coffee kick-starts their day but how far is that true? A recent study done in the UK shows that the hit you get from your cup of coffee is all in your mind and the same lift can be given by a decaf.
Researchers at the University of East London studied 88 volunteers, aged between 18 and 47, who were self-confessed coffee addicts and consumed at least two cups of coffee every day.
During the study, some of the volunteers were given decaffeinated coffee but were told it was caffeinated, while others were given caffeinated coffee and were told it was decaffeinated. Then the researchers did a series of tests to measure their mental agility, reaction time, and moods.
Results showed that the genuine coffee drinkers showed improved performance on a color test but performed poorly on mental ability test whereas the decaf drinkers, who wrongly thought they drank caffeinated coffee, performed much better in both the color and reaction time tests. Thus, researchers believe the coffee fix is all in the minds of the coffee lovers.
Although, different studies done earlier, proved caffeine is a stimulant that increases the functionality of brain and helps fighting fatigue and drowsiness and even combating Alzheimer's disease, the pick-me-up power of coffee, however, is nothing but the consumer's anticipation of caffeine as a 'hit,' said the East London University researchers.
The findings suggest the expectation of having consumed caffeine confers an enhancement on sustained attention that is at least comparable, and perhaps superior to, the effects of caffeine, the researcher wrote in their report that was published in the journal Appetite.