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14.04.2012


Safe to drive on the motorway after cup of coffee

A few days ago we wrote about Dutch research which showed that car drivers were more alert during a four-hour journey if they had drunk a can of Red Bull. If you're not into energy drinks, then the researchers have an alternative that works just as well: an old-fashioned cup of coffee.

This study, which will soon be published in Psychopharmacology, was set up in exactly the same way as the Red Bull study. Drivers had to drive for two hours in a simulator, after which they were allowed to rest for 15 minutes. Then they had to drive for another two hours. On one occasion the subjects had to drink a cup of coffee containing 80 mg caffeine; on the other they were given a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

The researchers measured fluctuations in speed as the subjects drove [SDP] and their ability to keep driving straight [SDLP]. The researchers discovered that the subjects drove better after they had drunk 'real' coffee in the break than after drinking decaf.


Safe to drive on the motorway after cup of coffee


Safe to drive on the motorway after cup of coffee


Safe to drive on the motorway after cup of coffee


The caffeinated coffee also helped reduce fatigue [KSS].

"The present study demonstrates that one cup of caffeinated coffee has a positive effect on continuous highway driving in non-sleep restricted, healthy volunteers", the researchers conclude.

Source:
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print].

More:
Red Bull breaks highway hypnosis 09.04.2012
Dozing off at the wheel? Coffee and a nap help equally well 09.08.2009
Not enough sleep? Creatine keeps you alert 28.08.2008