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Does coffee really wake you up?

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While sipping a cup of "Hair Bender" from Stumptown Coffee Roasters this morning, I was shocked to attention by new research showing that my morning ritual may just be getting me back to "normal" instead of actually waking me up.

These findings were published online today in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. In the study, researchers asked 379 people, half of them non or low caffeine consumers and the other half medium or high caffeine consumers, to abstain from caffeine for 16 hours. Participants were then given either caffeine or a placebo and asked to complete a range of computer tasks to test their levels of memory, attentiveness and vigilance. The researchers concluded:

Frequent coffee drinkers develop a tolerance to both the anxiety-producing effects and the stimulatory effects of caffeine. While frequent consumers may feel alerted by coffee, evidence suggests that this is actually merely the reversal of the fatiguing effects of acute caffeine withdrawal. And given the increased propensity to anxiety and raised blood pressure induced by caffeine consumption, there is no net benefit to be gained.

Photo by journeyscoffee

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