MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Does caffeine (in soda) effect motor skills?

Date: Sat Oct 9 23:03:44 2004
Posted By: Jeffrey Utz, Software Engineer
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1095125825.Gb

This is a very interesting  question.

Unfortunately, there are no super-clear answers.

Caffeine seems to decrease reaction time (in other words make some 
reactions faster). Most of the studies I found looked what they call 
psychomotor performance. Mostly, they looked at things like sorting cards 
or spotting a particular letter or picture. This incrreases or improve 
some motor skills.

It also seems to increase attention. The Navy Seals (Sea Air Land) team 
did a study, and it helps them perform better, especially when they are  
tired, like the middle of the night. Caffeine is able to help some people 
with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, especially when they are 
unable to take other  types  of medications.

One of the things that make studying the effects of caffeine difficult is 
that when people get used to caffeine and stop taking caffeine (say for 
an experiment), you are actually seeing the effects of withdrawal from 
caffeine  On the other hand, caffeine makes people who don't take 
caffeine regular (e.g., they don't drink coffee every morning) jittery 
and anxious. Despite this, it does appear that caffeine improves motor 

At least for  blood pressure, the story a lot clearer. Caffeine raises 
blood pressure by a few millimeters mercury,  about 4 points for 2-3 cups 
of coffee.

Here are  a couple abstracts for this. Your school library or local 
library should be able to get them. You can also search for additional 
articles with keywords like caffeine + Motor performance or caffeine + 
blood pressure.

THanks for  your excellent question.


Current Queue | Current Queue for General Biology | General Biology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2003. All rights reserved.