Drinking coffee boosts women’s brainpower but addles that of men.
While sipping a cappuccino or quaffing an espresso boosts women’s performance, the same drink impairs men’s memories and slows down their decision-making.
And given that Britons alone down 70 million cups of coffee a day, the implications are significant, reports the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
Psychologist Lindsay St. Claire, Bristol University, who led the study, said: “Many meetings, including those at which military and other decisions are made, are likely to be male-dominated.”
“Because caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world, the global implications are potentially staggering,” said Claire, according to the Daily Mail.
The researchers wanted to examine what coffee does to the body when it is already under stress, such as during a tense meeting. They recruited 64 men and women and put them in same-sex pairs.
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.