Effects of breakfast and caffeine on cognitive performance, mood and cardiovascular functioning

Appetite. 1994 Feb;22(1):39-55. doi: 10.1006/appe.1994.1004.


Two experiments examined the effect of breakfast (1.89 MJ) and caffeine (4 mg/kg) on cognitive performance, mood and cardiovascular functioning. In the first experiment, breakfast had no effect on performance of sustained attention tasks, but it increased pulse rate and influenced mood. The mood effects after breakfast differed between a cooked breakfast and a cereal/toast breakfast. In contrast to the effects of breakfast, this relatively high dose of caffeine improved performance of the sustained attention tasks, increased blood pressure and increased mental alertness. In the second experiment, effects of a breakfast and caffeine on mood and cardiovascular functions confirmed the results of the first study. The breakfast improved performance on free recall and recognition memory tasks, had no effect on a semantic memory task and impaired the accuracy of performing a logical reasoning task. In contrast to this, caffeine improved performance on the semantic memory, logical reasoning, free recall and recognition memory tasks. Overall, these results show that breakfast can improve performance in some but not all cognitive tasks and that these changes are very different from those observed after lunch, and those produced by caffeine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect* / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Cognition* / drug effects
  • Female
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Pulse / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Caffeine