New study may shock a world of caffeine-fueled workers


Research shows-gasp-no net benefit to alertness from drinking coffee.

Coffee may be flavorful, make you happier, and lengthen your life, but a new study has found little benefit to alertness from coffee's jolt of caffeine.

Results from this double-blind test conducted out of Bristol University in the United Kingdom were revealed in the June 2 online issue of Neuropsychopharmacology. In randomized, double-blind, parallel groups, 162 no- and low-caffeine consumers and 217 medium- and high-caffeine consumers rated their anxiety, alertness, and headache before and after 100 mg of caffeine and 150 mg of caffeine 90 minutes later (or placebos both times).

Non- and low-coffee drinkers reported no increased alertness with either placebo or coffee. With the placebo, moderate and heavy drinkers of coffee reported decreased alertness and increased headache. But after abstinence, coffee only returned these coffee drinkers to a normal baseline of alertness, with no net benefit.

Of course, studies will continue into the benefits of Americans' love affair with caffeine and coffee. Did we mention it may make you happier [ … ] and lengthen your life?

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