Caffeine buzz not worth a hill of beans

“Millions of people all over the world can’t face the day without a cup, but the benefits of coffee have been overstated. New research has found that caffeine has no stimulating effect on the brain and does not counteract sleepiness. It suggests drinkers who believe coffee provides a morning boost and makes them more alert are reversing withdrawal symptoms they have developed overnight through dependence on the substance. Jack James and Michael Keane of the psychology department at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), examined the effects of coffee by studying electrical activity in the brain. They say the findings call into question road safety policies that urge tired drivers to drink two cups of coffee to ensure alertness at the wheel …” (more)

[Jan Battles, Sunday Times, 23 November]

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