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Effects of caffeine on performance and mood: withdrawal reversal is the most plausible explanation.
Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2005; 182(1):1-8P

Abstract

RATIONALE

Although it is widely believed that caffeine can enhance human performance and mood, the validity of this belief has been questioned, giving rise to debate. The central question is whether superior performance and mood after caffeine represent net benefits, or whether differences between caffeine and control conditions are due to reversal of adverse withdrawal effects.

OBJECTIVES

To provide a focussed review of relevant experimental studies with the aim of clarifying current understanding regarding the effects of caffeine on human performance and mood.

METHODS

To avoid the shortcomings of standard placebo-controlled studies, which are ambiguous due to failure to control for the confounding influence of withdrawal reversal, three main experimental approaches have been employed: studies that compare consumers and low/non-consumers, pre-treatment and ad lib consumption studies, and long-term withdrawal studies.

RESULTS

Of the three approaches, only long-term withdrawal studies are capable of unambiguously revealing the net effects of caffeine. Overall, there is little evidence of caffeine having beneficial effects on performance or mood under conditions of long-term caffeine use vs abstinence. Although modest acute effects may occur following initial use, tolerance to these effects appears to develop in the context of habitual use of the drug.

CONCLUSIONS

Appropriately controlled studies show that the effects of caffeine on performance and mood, widely perceived to be net beneficial psychostimulant effects, are almost wholly attributable to reversal of adverse withdrawal effects associated with short periods of abstinence from the drug.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. j.james@nuigalway.ieNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16001109

Citation

James, Jack E., and Peter J. Rogers. "Effects of Caffeine On Performance and Mood: Withdrawal Reversal Is the Most Plausible Explanation." Psychopharmacology, vol. 182, no. 1, 2005, pp. 1-8.
James JE, Rogers PJ. Effects of caffeine on performance and mood: withdrawal reversal is the most plausible explanation. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005;182(1):1-8.
James, J. E., & Rogers, P. J. (2005). Effects of caffeine on performance and mood: withdrawal reversal is the most plausible explanation. Psychopharmacology, 182(1), pp. 1-8.
James JE, Rogers PJ. Effects of Caffeine On Performance and Mood: Withdrawal Reversal Is the Most Plausible Explanation. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005;182(1):1-8. PubMed PMID: 16001109.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of caffeine on performance and mood: withdrawal reversal is the most plausible explanation. AU - James,Jack E, AU - Rogers,Peter J, Y1 - 2005/07/02/ PY - 2005/04/01/received PY - 2005/05/23/accepted PY - 2005/7/8/pubmed PY - 2006/2/24/medline PY - 2005/7/8/entrez SP - 1 EP - 8 JF - Psychopharmacology JO - Psychopharmacology (Berl.) VL - 182 IS - 1 N2 - RATIONALE: Although it is widely believed that caffeine can enhance human performance and mood, the validity of this belief has been questioned, giving rise to debate. The central question is whether superior performance and mood after caffeine represent net benefits, or whether differences between caffeine and control conditions are due to reversal of adverse withdrawal effects. OBJECTIVES: To provide a focussed review of relevant experimental studies with the aim of clarifying current understanding regarding the effects of caffeine on human performance and mood. METHODS: To avoid the shortcomings of standard placebo-controlled studies, which are ambiguous due to failure to control for the confounding influence of withdrawal reversal, three main experimental approaches have been employed: studies that compare consumers and low/non-consumers, pre-treatment and ad lib consumption studies, and long-term withdrawal studies. RESULTS: Of the three approaches, only long-term withdrawal studies are capable of unambiguously revealing the net effects of caffeine. Overall, there is little evidence of caffeine having beneficial effects on performance or mood under conditions of long-term caffeine use vs abstinence. Although modest acute effects may occur following initial use, tolerance to these effects appears to develop in the context of habitual use of the drug. CONCLUSIONS: Appropriately controlled studies show that the effects of caffeine on performance and mood, widely perceived to be net beneficial psychostimulant effects, are almost wholly attributable to reversal of adverse withdrawal effects associated with short periods of abstinence from the drug. SN - 0033-3158 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16001109/Effects_of_caffeine_on_performance_and_mood:_withdrawal_reversal_is_the_most_plausible_explanation_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-005-0084-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -