Coffee & Health unveils its latest topic: Mental Performance

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The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) has extended the scientific information available on its Coffee & Health website, with Mental Performance the latest topic to be introduced. Based on the latest research, the new information provides a review of the scientific evidence on the relationship between coffee drinking and mental performance – including attention and alertness.

Moderate consumption of coffee appears to help improve alertness and concentration.

In particular, key highlights include:

  • There is convincing evidence that moderate caffeine intake helps to improve alertness and concentration. A 75mg serving of caffeine – the amount found in approximately one regular cup of coffee – leads to both increased attention and alertness, according to opinion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Brain mapping technology indicates that caffeine is not linked to the brain circuit of dependence and therefore does not fulfil the criteria to be described as a drug of dependence
  • Although abrupt cessation of caffeine consumption may induce withdrawal symptoms in a subset of the population, these are not generally very severe, are of short duration, and can be avoided by progressive reduction of caffeine intake
  • Some studies suggest that caffeine abstinence could improve sleep – both the time it takes to fall asleep and sleep quality, further studies are warranted before any firm conclusions can be drawn
  • There is some evidence to suggest potential benefits of coffee and caffeine in situations which require increased alertness e.g. night shifts and jet lag

Mental performance, the latest scientific topic to be added to Coffee & Health, sits alongside cardiovascular health, fluid balance, gallstones, liver function, pregnancy, sports performance, type 2 diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

For more information on the relationship between coffee drinking and mental performance, click here.

This information is intended for Healthcare professional audiences.
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