Glass of OJ a day boosts alertness and concentration
Release Date 30 September 2015
A glass of orange juice in the morning can improve alertness and concentration over the course of the day, according to new research from the University of Reading.
The study saw a group of twenty four healthy males aged 30-65 drink a flavonoid rich orange juice or a control drink on two separate days. On each day the participants were randomly allocated to consume either the orange juice or the control drink. Cognitive testing before drink consumption, and two and six hours after, were then carried out.
‘Response speed' in the study group was significantly improved at two and six hours post drink. Their ‘attention' was also enhanced after six hours while the control group became less ‘alert' throughout the day compared to the study group.
This research is part of a series of studies recently conducted by the University of Reading investigating the effects of flavonoids on the brain. Flavonoids are naturally occurring plant phytochemicals which are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits and berries. Research conducted earlier this year showed that daily consumption of orange juice could improve brain function after eight weeks in healthy older adults.
Dr Daniel Lamport, from the University's School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences and co-author of the study, said: "The effect of flavonoids on cognition is an exciting area of research. Mounting evidence suggests they can boost brain power, particularly after repeated daily doses over several weeks and months. In this double blind cross over study we wanted to see if drinking a single serving in the morning had more instant effects over the day."
The researchers designed two drinks; a flavonoid-rich orange juice¹ and a control orange flavoured drink containing no flavonoids. Both drinks were matched for taste, appearance, energy and sugar content.
Dr Lamport continued: "Cognition and alertness were significantly boosted up to six hours after consuming a 240ml serving of orange juice. Crucially, performance on these tests declined at two and six hours after consumption of the control drink. Alertness was shown to decline by 6.4% over the day following the control drink, whereas this decline was only 0.5% after the orange juice.
"Put together, the results suggest eating or drinking flavonoid rich fruit could be a great, healthy morning tonic -helping to maintain alertness and concentration in the classroom or at work."
The researchers wish to reinforce that when consuming fresh fruit juices people are aware of the nutritional content relative to recommended daily sugar intake.
Previous research from the University of Reading team has shown that other flavonoid rich food stuffs such as blueberries are beneficial for cognition in adults and children. Research is still ongoing to determine the exact mechanisms by which flavonoids may exert effects on the brain. Several mechanisms have been proposed such as improved blood flow in the brain and increasing the efficiency with which neurons transmit signals.
This study was funded by PepsiCo Inc. The company was not involved in the implementation of the study, or the analysis and interpretation of the data.
Flavonoid'rich orange juice is associated with acute improvements in cognitive function in healthy middle'aged males was published in the European Journal of Nutrition
Notes to Editors
¹ To create the flavonoid-rich drink, a commercially available orange juice which is high in flavonoids was selected. The flavonoid content was then boosted with the addition of naturally occurring pomace, the micronized, edible part of an orange