Whether you’re in high school and didn’t get enough sleep between sports and academics, you’re in college and finals are around the corner and there isn’t enough hours in the day, you’re trying to climb the ladder of success and working overtime to impress the executives, you’re a mother with kids who are awake at all times, or just exhausted in general; chances are you’ve had coffee, tea or an energy drink at some point to keep yourself alert and awake. A study performed by Peter J.
Rogers observes the effects of caffeine and how withdrawal of caffeine affects alertness and performance. To better understand caffeine and its effects, know that there is a chemical known as adenosine that helps slow down reactions in the body. Caffeine hinders adenosine from latching onto cells. So in hindsight your body has no time to rest if you are always drinking caffeine. After abstaining from caffeine you tend to start experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, decrease in mental alertness and awareness and a sudden drowsiness from the flooding of adenosine.
Rogers states that this is because caffeine narrows blood vessels in the brain so when we abstain from caffeine, the increase of blood flow is what will cause that dull headache. In Rogers’ study he performed tasks on 369 subjects with ages ranging from 18 to 62 who there was salivary evidence of their caffeine concentration. There were two groups of participants after testing their salivary concentration. They were divided into ‘non-low’ and ‘medium-high’ caffeine consumers after they took a questionnaire about their consumption of caffeine. There were 1 57 ‘non-low’ consumers while the other 212 were ‘medium-high’ caffeine consumers.
According to the test battery, after abstaining from caffeine overnight, at 10:30 a. M. He ‘medium-high’ consumers performed worse on the choice reaction time and simple reaction time tasks than the other group, ‘non-low’ had. ‘Medium-high’ consumers reported that they also felt less mentally alert and were drowsier than the other group Of consumers. However, according to the researchers, their post-caffeine levels were no higher than ‘non-low’ consumers who had received a placebo instead of caffeine. Presumably this would mean that caffeine users drink caffeine to actually avoid withdrawal symptoms such as drowsiness, headaches and fatigue.
Non-caffeine consumers reported feeling less sleepy and more alert when performing the test battery. They reported feeling more jittery and anxious as well though so that could mean that caffeine can affect both aspects of the spectrum of consumers. According to the analysis of data from testing, Rogers speculates that ‘caffeine consumption has benefits as well as negative side effects, for ‘medium-high’ users; caffeine helps them to return to that norm that ‘non-low’ consumers experienced after receiving a placebo while in ‘non-low’ nonusers; caffeine tends to increase mental awareness while decreasing their sleepiness. Rogers and other researchers claim, “Medium-high’ consumers develop a tolerance that causes them to bypass the benefits of caffeine and instead causes them to bypass the withdrawal effects that caffeine tends to have after consumption. ” The study condo acted supports the theory that the body develops a dependence on caffeine for it to maintain normal levels of awareness as well as alertness. Caffeine consumers are no ore alert than non-consumers; they become equivalent once they stave Off the withdrawal symptoms.
Though there was an increase in alertness for caffeine consumers, it only made them as alert as non-caffeine consumers who had the placebo. Caffeine won’t increase your mental alertness and etc. , but it will keep you awake. Caffeine withdrawal will cause you to experience discomforting symptoms, but if you switch to non-caffeinated beverages overtime you will no longer experience those symptoms and you will be just as alert as you were when drinking coffee.