The purpose of this study was to determine if there were age or gender specific effects of caffeine, as measured by cognitive tasks and mood assessments known to be sensitive to caffeine. The subjects were healthy, non-smoking volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 (6 male and 6 female), and over the age of 60 (6 male and 6 female). Only low and moderate consumers of caffeine (daily intake < 400 mg) were enrolled in the double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover design. The order of caffeine dosing (placebo, 64, 128, and 256 mg) was counterbalanced by use of a complex Latin Square sequence of administration. Analysis of the data from all measures indicated that the effects of caffeine were no different in either males or females, or in the young or elderly volunteers. A significant dose-dependent improvement in performance of all subjects was observed in a modified version of the Wilkinson Auditory Vigilance Test. Additionally, significant dose-dependent improvements in mood state were observed in all subjects as assessed by the Profile of Mood States, Multiple Affect Adjective Check List, and The Caffeine Analog Scales. The results of this study suggest that the performance and mood enhancing effects of caffeine are neither age nor gender specific.
Keywords: Age; Caffeine; Gender; Mood; Performance; Vigilance.