Mocha lattes increase attention span, study claims

The cocoa reduces caffeine's anxiety-inducing effects

Rachel Hosie
Tuesday 07 March 2017 11:14 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If chocolate and coffee are two of your biggest vices, we have good news.

Drinking mocha lattes has been found to improve attention spans, according to a new study from Clarkson University in New York.

The researchers have found that the combination of coffee and chocolate found in a mocha is perfect for helping you stay focussed.

Clarkson University researcher Ali Boolani worked with the University of Georgia to examine “the acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue.”

Boolani explained the power of the mocha: “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety. This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine's anxiety-producing effects.”

In a study that lasted nearly a year, participants drank either brewed cocoa, cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, or a placebo hot drink with neither caffeine nor cocoa.

After drinking the beverage, participants were asked to do an array of tasks which would see their cognitive function and mood assessed.

The researchers found that those who’d drunk plain cocoa made fewer errors linked to lack of attention.

But then after adding caffeine to the cocoa too, “cognitive effects” were enhanced and the “anxiety-provoking effects” of drinking just coffee were reduced.

“The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention,” Boolani said, offering hope to struggling students across the world.

It’s worth noting that the research was sponsored by US chocolate manufacturers Hershey’s, and it’s not impossible they’ll be launching a coffee chocolate sometime soon.

But it seems chocolatey coffees really could be the saviour you need to get your through those long afternoon meetings.

Whether we can justifiably extend these results to eating chocolate whilst drinking a coffee is unclear, but we’re willing to give it a try.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in