Drinking coffee can enhance 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- gender 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.
Researchers then gave the pairs either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and observed them throughout the experiment.
They found the men's ability to perform well under stress was 'greatly impaired' if they had drunk the caffeinated coffee. For example, they took an average of 20 seconds longer to complete puzzles than those on the decaffeinated coffee. Women, on contrary, completed those puzzles 100 seconds faster if they had been given caffeine.
Experts think the reason coffee affects the work performance of men and women differently are due to the way each respond to stress.