Coffee’s caffeine fix may be a placebo

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th September 2011

British researchers claim that the caffeine ‘fix’ that many coffee-drinkers seek may be obtained equally by a decaffeinated placebo.

Researchers from the University of East London studied volunteers who were provided decaffeinated coffee but were told their drink contained caffeine. A report on the research study was published this week in the international research journal, Appetite.

The volunteers who drank decaffeinated coffee proved quicker in performance than those who were given ordinary caffeinated coffee.

According to the researchers, led by Dr Lynne Dawkins, the results suggest that caffeine ‘expectation’ can affect mood and performance rather than merely the caffeine alone.

According to London-based market research firm Euromonitor, coffee led the Australian hot drinks market in 2010, accounting for around 41% of off-trade volume and 63% of off-trade value sales.