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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Feb;16(1):13-21. doi: 10.1037/1064-1297.16.1.13.

Enhanced mood and psychomotor performance by a caffeine-containing energy capsule in fatigued individuals.

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The University of Chicago., Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Caffeine produces mild psychostimulant effects that may be particularly evident in individuals whose mood or performance is impaired by sleep restriction or caffeine withdrawal. Caffeinated energy drinks have been shown to improve energy and cognition but expectancy effects cannot be ruled out in these studies. Very few studies have examined the effects of caffeine-containing energy capsules upon behavioral and subjective measures. This study compared the effects of a caffeine-containing (200 mg) supplement (CAF) or placebo in capsule form after prolonged wakefulness, in participants who varied in their level of habitual caffeine use. Thirty-five healthy volunteers (16 male, 19 female) participated in two experimental sessions in which they remained awake between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. At 3:30 a.m. they consumed CAF or placebo in random order under double-blind conditions. Participants completed subjective effects questionnaires and performed computerized attention tasks before and after consuming capsules. Heart rate and blood pressure were monitored at regular intervals. Compared to measures at 5 p.m., participants reported more tiredness and mood disturbance at 3 a.m., and exhibited longer reaction times and more attentional lapses. Heavier caffeine consumers exhibited the greatest decreases in Profile of Mood States (POMS) Vigor. CAF produced stimulant-like effects and significantly improved mood and reaction times upon the tasks. These effects did not vary with level of habitual caffeine consumption. These findings indicate that consumption of a caffeine-containing food supplement improves subjective state and cognitive performance in fatigued individuals that is likely a result of its caffeine content.

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