Brewing Coffee With Chocolate May Improve Attention Span

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If you are someone who loves drinking coffee, then this is for you! A new study from Clarkson University in New York is giving a fresh reason to drink a cup of coffee with chocolate added.

Drinking mocha lattes may improve your attention span, the new study has revealed. The study has found that the combination of coffee and chocolate found in a mocha works wonder for your brain.

A cup of coffee, brewed along with chocolate, in fact, can help enhance attentiveness and help someone stay focussed more than regular old coffee or hot chocolate, claims the study. Researchers in the study revealed that a blend of the natural stimulant of caffeine and the antioxidants of dark chocolate work together to diminish the feeling of anxiety and increase your attention span.

Explaining the potential of the mocha, lead researcher Ali Boolani of Clarkson University in the US, said: “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety. This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects – a good reason to drink mocha lattes!”

To assess the impact of brewed cocoa intake on ‘attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue’, Boolani conducted a study along with associates from the University of Georgia in the US wherein they gave participants to consume a variety of beverages – brewed cocoa, cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, and a placebo with neither caffeine nor cocoa.

After the beverage consumption, participants were given a range of tasks to perform that helped them check each participant’s cognitive function and assess their mood. In one test, the participants were asked to watch as letters flashed across a screen and note when an ‘X’ appeared after an ‘A.’ Each participant completed the 26-minute test four times.

Each time, participants received a different drink type prior to the test. After evaluating each participant’s cognitive speed, mood and attention span, the researchers found that almost every participant fared well in the test after drinking caffeine, but performed even better after drinking a blend of caffeine and dark chocolate.

“The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention,” said Boolani.

But there’s a downside of the current study. Since this study was sponsored by US chocolate manufacturers Hershey’s, the findings could not be believed blindly.

The study was published in the journal BMC Nutrition.

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