Workers need a brew to function

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Research has confirmed what many tea and coffee lovers have long suspected – a good brew can mean better and safer working practices.

Researchers from the London School of Tropical Medicine carried out an experiment to discover whether a dose of caffeine had any effect on the frequency of mistakes being made by employees working unsocial hours which causes them to fall victim to a form of “jet lag” due to disturbed body clock rhythms.

The study involved 13 trials investigating the effects of caffeine on shift worker performance and found that those that were given the drug in the form of tea, coffee, “pep” pills, energy drinks and caffeinated foods performed better in a number of tests.

Researchers tested the claims against a “dummy” placebo group and found that those given caffeine during the experiment performed better in various tests including memory, attention, perception, conceptualising and reasoning.

Lead Researcher Dr Katherine Ker, from the London School of Tropical Medicine, said: “It seems reasonable to assume that reduced errors are associated with fewer injuries, although we cannot quantify such as reduction.”



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  1. Of course people will perform better…If they’re working nights or on strange shifts they might not be eating properly so the brain is starved of (glucose) sugar – its preferred fuel. When they drink caffeine, it stimulates the body into releasing adrenalin – putting glucose into the blood, therefore suddenly the brain can function better.
    Long-term its not a great option to live off the highs and lows of caffeine though!!

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