A year-long experiment was conducted by the University of Georgia and Clarkson University in New York to work out how hot drinks affect our cognitive performance. In the study, the participants were given cocoa with caffeine, brewed cocoa, caffeine without cocoa and a placebo drink with neither cocoa or caffeine.
The study was conducted double blind, meaning both the participants and experimenter were not aware of what drink was given to each participant.
A 26-minute battery was used to assess motivation to perform cognitive tasks, attention and mood, for which participants were required to do subtractions and point out to odd numbers sequentially. The participants were asked to watch letters flash across a screen and point out when an X appeared after an A.
This was done before and 3 times after beverage consumption, with a 10-minute break between each post-consumption battery. This test procedure was repeated for each beverage and each participant at least 48 hours apart and ±30 minutes at the same time of the day.
The results of the tests are promising and shows that caffeine and cocoa are good choices for anyone who needs to improve sustained attention.
The study can be found in the journal BMC Nutrition.
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