MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: the question is in the comments box

Date: Mon Apr 7 07:04:12 2003
Posted By: Alfred Bushway, Professor of Food Science
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 1046707448.An

Hi Mark,

Let me see if I can provide some insight into the question you have asked.
The increase you see in your pulse rate you see upon taking a gulp of
coffee may be a psychological response. If you beleive that the caffeine in
coffee is supposed to increase your heart rate, you may have 
pre-conditioned yourself to this response. It would take longer that than 
you have indicated for the caffeine to enter your blood stream, and if you 
drink coffee regularly one gulp may not be enough to cuase the response 
you see.

If you were to drink warm water without coffee or decaffeinatred coffee,
would you see the same response? For a controlled experiment, you 
should use a number of subjects and perhaps use decaffeinated coffee 
and coffee with caffeine. Even under these conditions the stress of having 
their pulse rate monitored may cause an increase in their heart rate.

I hope this provides some insight into what yuo obsereved.

Al Bushway
Professor of Food Science 

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