- People are less able to remember new information when they are denied coffee
- Cravings affect people’s ability to predict how well they will recall knowledge
- Researchers think this may cause people to be overly confident in their memory
- Experts from the University of Tasmania analysed 55 regular coffee drinkers
- The participants were denied their morning coffee but presented with a cup
Caffeine cravings impair memory, new research reveals.
People are less able to remember new information when they are denied their morning coffee pick-me-up, a study found.
Such cravings also affects people’s ability to predict how well they will recall knowledge, the research adds.
The researchers believe this may cause people to become overly confident in their capacity to remember information.
They wrote: ‘Cravings trigger consumption schemas and the inhibition of these schemas requires cognitive resources, leaving fewer resources available for other cognitive tasks.’
People are less able to remember new information when they are denied their morning coffee
STOP DRINKING COFFEE IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING TO LOSE WEIGHT: CAFFEINE TRIGGERS SWEET TREAT TEMPTATIONS
People who are struggling to lose weight may benefit from cutting out coffee, research suggested last month.
Caffeine may trigger the temptation for sweet treats, a study found.
Researchers believe caffeine’s ability to boost alertness also reduces people’s perception of sweetness, which may make them desire such flavors more.
Senior author Professor Robin Dando from Cornell University, said: ‘When you drink caffeinated coffee, it will change how you perceive taste – for however long that effect lasts.
‘So if you eat food directly after drinking a caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated drinks, you will likely perceive food differently.’
How the research was carried out
Researchers from the University of Tasmania analysed 55 regular coffee drinkers with an average age of 30.
The study’s participants drank at least one coffee a day and sometimes found themselves thinking about their next caffeine fix.
Half of the participants refrained from any coffee on the day of the experiment and had a cup of the brew placed in front of them. They were encouraged to pay attention to the coffee’s smell and colour.
The remaining participants drank their coffee as normal, were given water and asked to imagine their favourite holiday.
All of the participants completed a memory task that involved them learning 100 unrelated words, such as pond-book.
The participants were then asked to recall the second word in each pair after being given the first.
They also had to select the correct word pairing from a list of multiple-choice options.
Caffeine cravings impair memory
Results reveal caffeine cravings impair people’s ability to remember new information.
The researchers wrote: ‘Cravings trigger consumption schemas and the inhibition of these schemas requires cognitive resources, leaving fewer resources available for other cognitive tasks.’ Schemas are representations of a plan in the form of an outline.
Such people are also less able to predict how well they will likely perform in memory tests, which the researchers state may cause them to be overly confident when learning new information.
The findings were published in the journal Memory.