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Occasional coffee provides caffeine boost

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Coffee provides a noticeable caffeine boost, even in people who only rarely drink coffee, new research suggests.

A team at the University of Alberta in Canada studied the impact of caffeine in ten women who drank coffee regularly and in a further ten women who had less than two cups of coffee a week.

They measured the volunteers' heart rate, blood pressure, alertness and their ability to perform a tough mental test after drinking coffee.

Publishing their findings in the journal Nutrition Research, the scientists reveal that both sets of women experienced a caffeine boost.

"The take-home message for women is that whether you are hooked on caffeine or not, if you need a boost, coffee improves your mental alertness and can have a calming effect on your heart rate," said lead author Michael Kennedy, a professor in exercise physiology in the university's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.

However, the researchers noted that regular coffee drinkers tended to have higher blood pressure readings prior to consuming coffee.

Dr Kennedy suggested: "For people at risk for high blood pressure, if you're a habituated coffee drinker, reducing your caffeine intake would be an effective way of potentially reducing your blood pressure."ADNFCR-858-ID-18749763-ADNFCR

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