A new study from the UK suggests that women who drink coffee may perform better in stressful situations than those on decaffeinated beverages. For men, it’s the opposite.
The caffeine in coffee is known to fight drowsiness and act as a stimulant, and previous research has suggested it might also protect against liver damage, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and inflammatory conditions such as gout.
Psychologist Dr Lindsay St Claire and colleagues from Bristol University decided to find out the effects of caffeinated coffee in high stress situations such as in the work place. They divided 64 coffee-drinking volunteers into pairs of the same-sex and similar ages. They then gave them a number of tasks to complete such as memory tests, puzzles, and negotiating tasks. To increase the pressure they told the pairs they would be making a public presentation on their results.
The pairs were then given decaffeinated coffee to drink, but half of them had caffeine added to their drinks. Their performance was then monitored throughout the experiments.