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Caffeine leads to more energy in boys--study

Researchers found that boys who regularly consumed caffeine drinks reported higher blood pressure compared to boys who consumed less.

Caffeine found in tea, coffee, soda and other energy drinks has a stronger effect on boys than girls, finds a new study.

The research published in the December 2010 issue of the journal ‘Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology,’states that boys get greater rush from caffeine as compared to girls.

"Our findings from this study and from our previous study suggest that boys and girls respond differently to caffeine,” stated study researcher Jennifer L. Temple, a neurobiologist and assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at the University at Buffalo.

After caffeine consumption, diastolic blood pressure increased and heart rate decreased in boys, but this was not seen in girls.

52 boys girls studied
To reach the study findings, a team of researchers led by Temple monitored 26 boys and 26 girls.

The participants were in the age group 12 to 17 years.

For the study, the researchers ensured that none of the teenagers had adverse reaction after caffeine consumption. Also, they were not taking contraceptive pills and didn't smoke.

The subjects were asked to avoid caffeinated drinks for 24 hours before the experiment. They were allowed to eat and drink anything except water two hours prior the experiment.

The participants were given either 50mg, 100mg, 200mg or no caffeine at all.

Analyzing the participants over a period of time, researchers found that caffeine led to greater rush and more energy in boys.

They also witnessed a positive affect on their athletic performance. Girls did not report this.

Caffeine intake led to high BP
Though caffeine energized boys, there were other affects too.

After caffeine consumption, diastolic blood pressure increased and heart rate decreased in boys, but this was not seen in girls.

"Caffeine is known to increase blood pressure, but the fact that it caused an exaggerated response in high-consuming males was a surprise, since at the time of measurement the amount of caffeine consumed by boys and girls was the same,” said Temple.

Also, researchers found that boys who regularly consumed caffeine drinks reported higher blood pressure compared to boys who consumed less.

Other findings
The researchers also analyzed the effect of caffeine intake on eating behavior. They found that those who took in more caffeine, consumed more calories, fat, proteins and high sugar food compared to low caffeine consumers.

“We are hoping that our findings from studies on caffeine will help us determine why males and females differ in susceptibility to drug abuse,” Temple added.