Individual differences affecting caffeine intake. Analysis of consumption behaviours for different times of day and caffeine sources

Appetite. 2012 Jun;58(3):971-7. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.02.001. Epub 2012 Feb 9.


The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the individual variables contributing to determine the high variability in the consumption behaviours of caffeine, a psychoactive substance which is still poorly investigated in comparison with other drugs. The effects of a large set of specific personality traits (i.e., Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking, Anxiety, Reward Sensitivity and Circadian Preference) were compared along with some relevant socio-demographic variables (i.e., gender and age) and cigarette smoking behaviour. Analyses revealed that daily caffeine intake was significantly higher for males, older people, participants smoking more cigarettes and showing higher scores on Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking and a facet of Reward Sensitivity. However, more detailed analyses showed that different patterns of individual variables predicted caffeine consumption when the times of day and the caffeine sources were considered. The present results suggest that such detailed analyses are required to detect the critical predictive variables that could be obscured when only total caffeine intake during the entire day is considered.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Individuality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reward
  • Sensation
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking*
  • Young Adult


  • Caffeine