December 04, 2010
Sugar Caffeine Drink Dosage Too High For Optimal Function

If you must drink Red Bull do not drink a full can or bottle.

The study, published in the December issue of the APA journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, included 80 college students (34 men and 46 women) between the ages of 18 and 40. Some were given Red Bull 7, while others were given lower amounts of caffeine added to Squirt, a lemon-flavored decaffeinated soda that looks and tastes like Red Bull. Others were given plain Squirt as a placebo. A half-hour after finishing the drinks, participants took a computerized "go/no-go" test in which they had to respond quickly to targets on a screen. They were instructed to hit the forward slash key when a green target appeared and do nothing when a blue target appeared.

Participants were also asked how stimulated and mentally fatigued they felt after the drinks. The students who were given Red Bull reported feeling more stimulated and less tired than the other participants, but their response rates were slower.

This reminds me of my old post: Scientists Demonstrate Best Way To Use Caffeine

Avoid over-revving the brain or body with drugs. You might feel like a Master Of The Universe. But you run the risk of putting in the performance of a cheezy B-movie actor.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 December 04 12:47 PM  Brain Enhancement

Richard said at December 5, 2010 11:51 AM:

Very interesting. One minor quibble. Squirt is grapefruit flavored not lemon.

Anonymous said at December 5, 2010 9:24 PM:

I drink 400Mg of caffeine disolved in water over ~ 3-4 hours each morning beginning shortly after I wake up.
I believe it dramatically improves my ability to process information. Ive been doing this for the last few years
with few effects.

Voolfie said at December 6, 2010 5:51 AM:

I have been a coffee drinker all of my adult life. Recently I was diagnosed with adult ADD and put on a Ritalin-like medicine - basically an amphetamine. Now, I find that caffeine can wreak havoc on my morning if I drink my usual amount. Some days it helps, some days I become just useless. I've had to cut it out completely.

Anonymous said at December 6, 2010 6:24 AM:

I only drink caffeine if otherwise I feel I'll sleep. Thus awake productivity beats asleep productivity

Scott said at December 6, 2010 6:52 AM:

I'm addicted to coffee and don't care what it does to me, my productivity or spellling abilityes.

RevAaron said at December 6, 2010 8:00 AM:

@Voolfie That's because caffeine and dopaminergic medications like methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, etc potentiate caffeine. If you're using Adderall, even more so- Adderall is 26% levoamphetamine, which is more norepinephrinergic than dopaminergic and potentiates caffeine even more than dextroamphetamine. Subjects tend to report that levoamphetamine is "felt" in the body more than the brain, stimulates the body in a way that dextroamphetamine does not. Mixing the two will reduce the therapeutic effectiveness of both by stimulating you too much- try cutting the dose of either if you are really that keen on coffee...

Debatable how much it matters, but Squirt doesn't look or taste anything like Red Bull. Even if you added dye to the Squirt, it would be cloudy to Red Bull's clear apple juice-colored liquor.

Anonymous said at December 6, 2010 10:40 PM:

Also: That's one test where high caffeine fails (fast reactions).
In other studies, high caffeine shows higher attention level, better memory of the events under caffeine.

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