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Can’t start the day without your cup of coffee? You are not the only one. Many people claim that coffee is essential for waking up. However, the latter would be totally placebo according to a new study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Most of you drink coffee every morning to help you wake up better and improve your work efficiency and at home. Portuguese scientists conducted a study on coffee drinkers to understand if this arousal effect is due to the properties of caffeine or if it is simply a habit that “reassures”.

On the same subject

How to better enjoy the benefits of coffee

Coffee is generally expected to increase alertness and psychomotor functioning “, declared Professor Nuno Sousa of the University of Minho, author of the study published within Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

However, contrary to what one may believe, it is not only caffeine that allows you to gain energy. It is also the moment we give to have a cup of coffee which plays a role in productivity. Explanation.

Energy: caffeine alone would not be enough

It is well known that caffeine is a stimulating powerful that can have a positive impact on energy and productivity. For this reason, coffee is seen as a good way to boost your energy. However, it is not the only drink that contains caffeine. The researchers therefore wanted to determine if it is the fact of having the same habit every morning – drinking your coffee – or if it is the caffeine that allows you to be better awake.

The scientists recruited people who drank at least a cup of coffee a day and asked them to refrain from eating or drinking other caffeinated products for at least three hours before the study. They then performed MRI: one before and one 30 minutes after taking caffeine or drinking a cup of coffee.

A part of the volunteers consumed coffee, the other part consumed another drink containing caffeine. Whether it was coffee or another caffeinated beverage, people were more armed to go from rest to work.

However, drinking coffee also has increased connectivity in the higher visual network and the right executive control network – parts of the brain involved in working memory, cognitive control and behavior focused on goals. This did not happen when the participants took only caffeine.

In other words, if you want to reboost yourself, caffeine alone will not suffice. It is the experience of that cup of coffee that will benefit you.

Coffee could be effective without caffeine

Taking into account that some of the effects we found were replicated by caffeine, we might expect other caffeinated beverages to share to be as effective as coffee.added one of the researchers. However, other effects were specific to coffee consumption, driven by factors such as smell and taste particularities of the drink, or the psychological expectations associated with the consumption of this drink “.

The researchers even suggest that coffee without caffeine may be effective, since it is experience which would be beneficial and not the caffeine.

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