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Coffee May Pump Up Work Stress

Study says it increases anxiety levels, though men think it improves performance

SUNDAY, March 7, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Coffee may not be the performance enhancer at work that many men think it is.

A British study says men who work alone may pump up their stress levels if they have coffee, even though they believe it will boost their productivity.

And men working as part of a team may feel less stressed after they get a jolt of caffeine, but it may make them less effective in their tasks.

Current stress-management theories suggest caffeine can trigger stress. But there's also evidence to suggest that caffeine boosts confidence, alertness and sociability, along with improving performance while doing various work tasks.

This study tried to reconcile those different viewpoints.

"Our research findings suggest that the commonplace tea or coffee break might backfire in business situations, particularly where men are concerned. Far from reducing stress, it might actually make things worse," researcher Dr. Lindsay St. Claire says in a prepared statement.

More information

The American Dietetic Association has more about caffeine.

SOURCE: University of Bristol, news release, February 2004
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