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Coffee, cocoa drink enhances brain function

By Chukwuma Muanya
15 March 2017   |   3:52 am
The best way to get ahead at work is to coffee mixed with cocoa, according to scientists who studied the behaviour of people drinking coffee and hot chocolate over the course of a year.

They found that while coffee boosts your energy levels, hot chocolate helps to relieve anxiety – and combining the two is the best way to improve your attention span.

The best way to get ahead at work is to coffee mixed with cocoa, according to scientists who studied the behaviour of people drinking coffee and hot chocolate over the course of a year.

They found that while coffee boosts your energy levels, hot chocolate helps to relieve anxiety – and combining the two is the best way to improve your attention span.

The study was published in the journal BMC Nutrition. Subjects were given cocoa, cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, and a placebo drink with neither caffeine nor cocoa.

The study was double blind, meaning both the experimenter and the people taking part in the study were not aware of what drink was given to each participant.

Participants were then asked to watch as letters flashed across a screen and note when an ‘X’ appeared after an ‘A.’ They also had to point out when odd numbers appeared in a sequence, and were asked to do subtract numbers from one another.

These tests were designed to test the participants’ cognitive function and mood levels after having a hot drink. Researchers found participants who had drank cocoa with caffeine performed the best.

Psychologists from the University of Georgia and Clarkson University in New York, United States (U.S.), devised a year-long experiment to work out how hot drinks affect our cognitive performance.

In the experiment, subjects were given brewed cocoa, cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, and a placebo drink with neither caffeine nor cocoa.

The study was conducted double blind, meaning both the experimenter and the people taking part in the study were not aware of what drink was given to each participant.

A professor of physical therapy at Clarkson University, Ali Boolani, said: “It was a really fun study. Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety.”

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