Drinking coffee can boost the brainpower of women in stressful situations, but scrambles men's thinking, says a new study. Researchers in Britain have found that while sipping a cappuccino or downing an espresso boosts women's performance when working with others, the same drinks could impair men's memories and slow their decision-making.
In their study, the researchers from Bristol University examined what coffee does to the body when it is already under stress, such as during a tense meeting, the Daily Mail reported.
They recruited 64 men and women and put them in same-sex pairs. Each pair was given a range of tasks to complete, including carrying out negotiations, completing puzzles and tackling memory challenges, and told they would have to give a public presentation relating to their tasks afterwards.
Half of the pairs were given decaffeinated coffee, while the others were handed a cup containing a large shot of caffeine.
The researchers found that men's performance in memory tests was "greatly impaired" if they drank the caffeinated coffee. They also took an average of 20 seconds longer to complete the puzzles than those on the decaffeinated coffee.
But women completed the puzzles 100 seconds faster if they had been given caffeine, according to the findings in the 'Journal of Applied Social Psychology'.
Previous studies suggested that coffee may provide protection against diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, liver damage and gout.