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Coffee & Health
Mental performance

The Acute Effects of Decaffeinated Coffee Versus Caffeinated Coffee on Reaction Time, Mood and Skeletal Muscle Strength

R M Sane et al, 2019.
Journal of Basic Clinical Physiology & Pharmacology, published online.
August 5, 2019



Caffeinated coffee, a psycho-stimulant, is widely consumed throughout the globe. However, its chronic consumption has deleterious effects on human health. Meanwhile, decaffeinated coffee has low content of caffeine and thus can be an alternative to caffeinated coffee. Therefore, the study was undertaken to explore and compare the acute effects of decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee on reaction time, mood and skeletal muscle strength in healthy volunteers.


This was a prospective, interventional, comparative type of study. The study included 70 healthy adults divided into two groups (Caffeinated coffee group and Decaffeinated coffee group). The following parameters were assessed: reaction time was assessed by digital display multiple-choice apparatus, mood by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Profile of Mood States revised version (POMS) and skeletal muscle strength by hand dynamometer. All parameters in both groups were assessed pre-intervention (baseline) and 30 min post-intervention.


In both groups (decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee) post-intervention, there was a statistically significant (p < 0.05) improvement in the reaction time (VRT) and mood (VAS, POMS) from the baseline. However, both groups did not show any significant effects on the skeletal muscle strength. Upon comparing the two groups, we found that caffeinated coffee showed higher and significant improvement of mood than decaffeinated coffee.


Decaffeinated coffee exerts an acute significant stimulatory effect on the reaction time and mood. However, these effects in comparison to caffeinated coffee are low. Further randomized control clinical trials are thus needed to validate these interesting findings.

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