Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Caffeine and the common cold

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID:, Thomas, Marie Ann, Perry, Kate and Whitney, Helen 1997. Caffeine and the common cold. Journal of Psychopharmacology 11 (4) , pp. 319-324. 10.1177/026988119701100406

Full text not available from this repository.


An experiment was carried out to determine whether caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee removed the malaise (reduced alertness, slower psychomotor performance) associated with having a common cold. One hundred volunteers were tested when healthy and 46 returned to the laboratory when they developed colds. Those subjects who remained healthy were then recalled as a control group. On the second visit subjects carried out two sessions, one pre-drink and another an hour after the drink. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the following three conditions, caffeinated coffee (1.5 mg/kg caffeine/body weight), decaffeinated coffee or fruit juice. Subjects with colds reported decreased alertness and were slower at performing psychomotor tasks. Caffeine increased the alertness and performance of the colds subjects to the same level as the healthy group and decaffeinated coffee also led to an improvement. These results suggest that drugs which increase alertness can remove the malaise associated with the common cold, and that increased stimulation of the sensory afferent nerves may also be beneficial.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: alertness; caffeine; coffee; psychomotor performance; upper respiratory tract illness
ISSN: 0269-8811
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:49

Citation Data

Cited 32 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item