A cup of coffee is what millions of us rely on to kick-start the day. But new research shows that morning pick-me-up has a much more potent effect on the brain if it is taken with sugar.
Scientists at the University of Barcelona in Spain found taking caffeine and sugar at the same time boosted the brain’s performance more than taking them on their own. Researchers now believe each one boosts the effect of the other on brain functions such as attention span and working memory.
The findings come from brain scans carried out on 40 volunteers who were tested after they had coffee with sugar, coffee without sugar, sugar on its own or just plain water. The results, published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, suggest sugar-sweetened coffee may be the best way to prepare the brain for a busy day ahead.
But it’s likely that coffee lovers who do not take sugar will get the same benefits from enjoying a sugary snack with their drink.