Cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood, and pressor effects of caffeine after 4, 6 and 8 h caffeine abstinence
- 1k Downloads
Many studies have found that caffeine consumed after overnight caffeine abstinence improves cognitive performance and mood. Much less is known, however, about the effects of caffeine after shorter periods of caffeine abstinence.
The aim of this study was to measure the effects on psychomotor and cognitive performance, mood, hand steadiness, blood pressure and heart rate of caffeine administration after periods of 4, 6, and 8 h of caffeine abstinence.
Participants (n=49, 27 female) were moderate to moderate-high caffeine consumers (mean daily intake 370 mg/day). Following overnight caffeine abstinence, a ‘pre-dose’ of caffeine (1.2 mg/kg) was administered at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. The participants started a baseline battery of measurements at 4 p.m. before receiving caffeine (1.2 mg/kg) or placebo at 5 p.m. They then performed the battery of tests again, starting at 5:30 p.m. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study.
Performance and mood measurements confirmed a psychostimulant action of caffeine (versus placebo), but only after 8 h of caffeine abstinence. Caffeine also increased blood pressure after 8-h abstinence, whereas hand steadiness was decreased and perception of task demand was increased by caffeine after 4 h, but not after 6- and 8-h abstinence.
A second cup-of-coffee equivalent dose of caffeine only reliably affected cognitive performance and mood after an 8-h interval between doses, but not after shorter intervals (when caffeine had some adverse effects). These results show that, apart from caffeine consumption soon after waking, the daily pattern of caffeine intake of many typical caffeine consumers is not well explained by the short-term psychostimulant effects of caffeine.
KeywordsCaffeine Drug withdrawal Cognitive performance Psychomotor performance Alertness Mood Tremor Blood pressure Heart rate
This research was supported by a grant from the European Union Fifth Framework Programme (grant no. QLK1-2000-00069). The views expressed in this paper are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission or its services or their future policy in this area.
- Arnold RW, Springer DT, Engel WK, Helveston EM (1993) The effect of wrist rest, caffeine, and oral timolol on the hand steadiness of ophthalmologists. Ann Ophthalmol 25:250–253Google Scholar
- Baddeley AD (1999) Essentials of human memory. Psychology Press, HoveGoogle Scholar
- Bovim G, Naess P, Helle J, Sand T (1995) Caffeine influence on the motor steadiness battery in neuropsychological tests. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 17:472–476Google Scholar
- Broadbent DE, Broadbent HP, Jones JJ (1989) Time of day as an instrument for the analysis of attention. Eur J Cogn Psychol 1:69–94Google Scholar
- Bruce M, Scott N, Shine P, Lader M (1991) Caffeine withdrawal: a contrast of withdrawal symptoms in normal subjects who have abstained from caffeine for 24 hours and for 7 days. J Psychopharmacol 5:129–143Google Scholar
- Eriksen BA, Eriksen CW (1974) Effects of noise letters upon identification of target in a non-search task. Percept Psychophys 16:143–149Google Scholar
- Heatherley SV, Hayward RC, Twyford HE, Moss EJ, Rogers PJ (2002) Psychostimulant and other effects of caffeine as a function of the duration of short-term caffeine abstinence. Behav Pharmacol 13:486Google Scholar
- James JE (1994) Does caffeine enhance or merely restore degraded performance? Neuropsychobiology 30:124–125Google Scholar
- James JE (1997) Understanding caffeine: a biobehavioral analysis. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
- Leark RA, Dupuy T, Greenberg L, Corman C, Kindschi C (1996) Test of variables of attention: professional manual. Universal Attention Disorders, Los Alamitos, CAGoogle Scholar
- Miller LS, Lombardo TW, Fowler SC (1998) Caffeine, but not time of day, increases whole-arm physiological tremor in non-smoking moderate users. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 25:131–133Google Scholar
- Rogers PJ, Richardson NJ, Elliman, NA (1995) Overnight caffeine abstinence and negative reinforcement of preference for caffeine-containing drinks. Psychopharmacology 120:457–462Google Scholar
- Rogers PJ, Stephens S, Day JEL (1998) Contrasting performance effects of caffeine after overnight and chronic caffeine withdrawal. J Psychopharmacol 12:A13Google Scholar
- Rozin P, Riff D, Mark M, Schull J (1984) Conditioned opponent responses in human tolerance to caffeine. Bull Psychon Soc 22:117–120Google Scholar
- Smit HJ, Rogers PJ (2002a) Effects of caffeine on mood. Pharmacopsychoecologia 15:231–257Google Scholar
- Snel J, Lorist MM (1998) Nicotine, caffeine and social drinking: behavior and brain function. Harwood, Amsterdam, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar