Early effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on subjective state and gender differences

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Oct 1;32(7):1698-703. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.07.005. Epub 2008 Jul 15.


Objectives: Some previous studies have demonstrated an early effect of caffeine administration on subjective state, but none of them has explored its existence after the administration of decaffeinated coffee, or the possible differences depending on the gender and circadian typology of the subjects. The aim of the present work is to investigate the early effects (10-30 min post-consumption) of a single low dose of caffeine (100 mg) and decaffeinated coffee on sleepiness, subjective activation and affect using a realistic design. The influence of gender and circadian typology is also explored.

Methods: A randomized double-blind informed placebo controlled procedure was applied to 688 healthy undergraduate volunteers, mean age 22.03+/-2.21 years, 238 men and 450 women. Measures were recorded before and after beverage consumption (10, 20 and 30 min), in two experimental sessions: morning 11:00-13:00 h or afternoon 16:00-18:00 h.

Results: Caffeine administration induced arousing effects (lesser somnolence and greater activation) in all post-consumption records, while the effects of decaffeinated drink were only apparent at 10 min. Caffeine effects were greater in men, and the decaffeinated beverage produced greater effects in women. Circadian typology only showed effects for time of day (morning/afternoon) related with rhythmic expression.

Conclusion: Future works should study more accurately the early effect of coffee beverages and the influence of gender, using other parameters which have proven to be sensitive to their administration. The effect of several caffeine doses should also be studied.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pain Measurement
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine