The effects of energy drinks, caffeine, and a placebo on cognitive functioning after physical exercise

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Smyth, Eoin
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study was to provide support to the basis of knowledge that Red Bull and energy drinks provide prolonged cognitive abilities such as inhibition control, executive function, memory and reaction time over a Placebo group and a Diet Coke (caffeine) group. Also that caffeine is not the main ingredient and glucose and taurine have a vital part in cognition. The design of the study was a true experiment, placebo controlled and double blind design. There were 50 participants, all of whom were male, who were tested on three different cognitive tests: a Stroop test, 2back test and Visual light speed test. The results of the scores after being tested on a non parametric Mann Whitney U test found significant difference in scores between the Red Bull group and the Placebo on correct scores of Stroop test and visual light speed test. However, there was no significant difference in the Red Bull group over the Diet Coke group in any tests. In conclusion, this suggests that caffeine is the main component in higher levels cognition compared to glucose and taurine.