Sunday, 4 September 2011

The morning coffee kick ? Its all in the mind ..

Coffee is the only way to kick start the morning , right ? According to new research it may be all in your imagination. 

A study published in the journal Appetite finds that the effects of coffee could be as much about our expectations as the drink’s stimulating effects. One group of test volunteers for the University of East London research were given regular coffee, but told it was decaffeinated. The second group were handed cups of decaf, which they were told contained caffeine, the Times of India reports.

All the volunteers were then tested. Those who genuinely had caffeine showed improvement in one mental test, but the coffee did not help their reflex and reaction times. However, volunteers who had drunk decaf which they believed contained caffeine performed better in both the mental test and in reaction and reflex times.

“These results suggest caffeine expectation can affect mood and performance,” the researchers wrote – suggesting that expecting a boost from coffee may have more of an impact than the caffeine itself.


  1. Interestingly tea has more caffeine pound for pound than in comparison to coffee of course a pound of coffee makes less cups of coffee than a pound of tea. I think expectations are an important variable in this equation !

  2. the expectation of the effects of coffee are a more important variable than its actual effect.

  3. I think perhaps this is a bit extremest. It also seems a full set of controls were not run...

  4. The correct controls were run but perhaps it would be useful to know how many of the subjects are regular coffee drinkers, how long they have drank coffee for , their age etc .. This may tell us more about the results.