Despite the “special blend” of ingredients, energy drinks work no better than ordinary caffeine at helping us pay attention, a new study suggests.
In the study, researchers examined participants’ brain activity while they performed a task designed to require attention. Specifically, the researchers looked at how fast the brain responded to a change in letters appearing on a computer screen.
Before the task, participants consumed 8 ounces of either water, water with caffeine, or water containing the energy drink 5-Hour Energy. The caffeinated drinks were adjusted so that they had the same amount of caffeine per pound of participants’ body weight, and all drinks were colored blue.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C., on May 26. Benham conducted the work with her adviser, KatieAnn Skogsberg, an assistant professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience at Centre College.
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