, Volume 228, Issue 2, pp 243-254
Date: 02 Mar 2013

Caffeine can decrease subjective energy depending on the vehicle with which it is consumed and when it is measured

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Abstract

Rationale

Energy drinks contain glucose and caffeine, although in the longer term both adversely influence blood glucose homeostasis, with the unconsidered potential to have adverse consequences for cognition and mood.

Objective

The objective of this study was to consider the influence on interstitial glucose levels, mood and cognition of drinks differing in their caffeine content and glycaemic load.

Methods

Ninety minutes after a standard breakfast, a yoghurt-, glucose- or water-based drink, with or without 80 mg of caffeine, was consumed.

Results

The consumption of caffeine negatively influenced glucose homeostasis: that is, irrespective of the vehicle, caffeine consumption resulted in elevated levels of blood glucose throughout the study. Thirty minutes after consuming caffeine and water, rather than water alone, greater subjective energy was reported. However, after 90 and 150 min, caffeine administered in water increased tiredness, hostility and confusion. In contrast, combining caffeine with a yoghurt-based drink increased energy, agreeableness and clearheadedness later in the morning. There were no effects of caffeine on ratings of mood when it was taken with glucose. Caffeine, irrespective of vehicle, resulted in better memory, quicker reaction times in the choice reaction time test and the working memory task, and better and quicker responses with the vigilance task.

Conclusion

Further research should consider how caffeine interacts with macronutrients and the timescale over which such effects occur.