Effects of caffeine in non-withdrawn volunteers

G. Christopher, David McGregor Sutherland, A. P. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale Evidence for the behavioural effects of caffeine is prevalent in the literature. It is associated with increased subjective alertness, improved reaction time and enhanced encoding of new information. However. there is an on-going debate as to whether such changes are in fact improvements or merely a reversal of the negative effects of caffeine withdrawal. Using participants who had consumed their normal daily quota of caffeine this study alleviated this potential confound as all participants were not withdrawn at the time of testing.
Objectives To determine whether caffeine influenced the mood and performance of non-withdrawn volunteers.
Methods Sixty eight volunteers, all of whom were regular caffeine consumers, consumed their normal amount of caffeine over the course of the day. Baseline measures of mood and performance were then carried out followed by double-blind administration of caffeine (2 mg/kg) or placebo. The test battery was repeated again 30 min after ingestion of the drink.
Results Our findings showed improvements comparable to previous research. Mood was improved and performance on a number of cognitive measures was improved. The findings are discussed in relation to both noradrenergic and cholinergic neurotransmitter systems.
Conclusions This study provided evidence against the argument that behavioural changes due to caffeine are merely the reversal of negative withdrawal effects. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2004
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • mood
  • caffeine
  • psychomotor performance
  • psychopharmacology
  • consumption
  • abstinence
  • attention
  • arousal
  • memory


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