Coffee and cake might be bad for your waistline but not for your brain! At least that is what a recent study published in the journal “Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental” suggests.
Caffeine and glucose are part of our everyday life and are known to have stimulant effects. Previous studies have suggested that caffeine can have positive effects on cognitive function when consumed in moderation. Other studies focused on the effects of glucose have found similar effects. However, only a few researchers so far had looked at the synergistic effect of those two substances on behaviour and cognitive function.
A group from the University of Barcelona have now done a novel study to investigate whether the consumption of caffeine and glucose, alone and combined, has any effect on cognitive performance. They tested their hypothesis by asking seventy-two healthy subjects to perform a variety of tasks after being administered either doses of water, water with caffeine, water with glucose, or water with both caffeine and glucose. The tests examined a number of functions like attention, memory, fine motor skills, and reaction time.
The most robust effects were observed in the group that consumed caffeine and glucose. More specifically, these participants performed better on tasks requiring attention, learning and verbal memory. The consumption of caffeine alone also lead to improvements in simple reaction time tasks. Similarly, glucose was associated with improved performance on reaction time and fine motor skills task.
Adan, A. and Serra-Grabulosa, J. M. (2010). Effects of caffeine and glucose, alone and combined, on cognitive performance. Hum. Psychopharmacol. Clin. Exp., 25(4):310-317. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.1115/abstract