Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Advantages of Drinking Coke for Breakfast

When I get up in the morning, one of the first things I do is open a can of cola. Most people get their caffeine hit from coffee, but I prefer pop.

And there is further evidence that caffeine in the morning may be beneficial:

... [A] new study has concluded that caffeine can sharpen short-term and working memory just 20 minutes after it is consumed.

Neuroimaging scans conducted at Austria's Medical University of Innsbruck show a brain region crucial to working memory lit up like a Christmas tree shortly after study subjects ingested the equivalent of two cups of coffee.

At the same time, those caffeinated subjects went on to outperform people who had consumed no caffeine in tasks designed to test short-term and working memory, which is the ability to maintain and manipulate new bits of information.
The news reports point out two qualifiers for the study:
  1. Too much caffeine can reduce your productivity and be harmful. I.e., eventually the marginal physical product of caffeine becomes negative.
  2. It is possible to build up an immunity to the effects of caffeine. My conclusion is that for caffeine to have efficient benefits, one should de-caffeinate oneself on a regular basis on days when peak productivity is less important.

My beverage of choice in the morning used to be Diet Vanilla Coke, but that variety of Coke is no longer available. I now tend to prefer Coke Zero, a form of Diet Coke that tastes more like original Coke than the standard Diet Coke; I also like Diet Dr. Pepper. On de-caf days, I drink diet caffeine-free cola or diet ginger ale or even herbal teas.

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