Cognitive and Mood Effects of a Nutrient Enriched Breakfast Bar in Healthy Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Groups Study

Nutrients. 2017 Dec 7;9(12):1332. doi: 10.3390/nu9121332.


Objectives: Few previous studies have assessed the effects of concomitant administration of multiple potentially psychoactive nutrients.

Methods: 95 healthy adult participants consumed either a nutrient enriched breakfast bar (containing α-Linolenic acid, l-tyrosine, l-theanine, vitamins, minerals and 21.5 mg of caffeine) or an isocaloric, macronutrient matched control bar for 56 days. Cognitive function and mood were assessed pre-dose and at 40- and 160-min post-dose on the 1st and 56th day of the intervention period.

Results: The results demonstrated acute effects of treatment across post-dose assessments on both assessment days in terms of alertness, and on tasks assessing attention, working and episodic memory and executive function, including cognitively demanding Serial subtraction and Rapid Visual Information Processing tasks. There were no evident chronic effects independent of the breakfast bars' acute effects.

Discussion: These results demonstrate that a nutrient enriched breakfast bar with low caffeine content can exert striking beneficial effects on acute cognitive function and alertness.

Keywords: ">l-theanine; ">l-tyrosine; caffeine; cognitive; mood; vitamin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Breakfast / psychology*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Glutamates / pharmacology
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minerals / pharmacology
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Tyrosine / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / pharmacology
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / pharmacology


  • Glutamates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Caffeine
  • Tyrosine
  • theanine