Caffeine and increased alertness


caffeine, alertness, health claims
First published in the EFSA Journal
20 February 2014
5 February 2014
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel

Following an application from SmithKline Beecham Limited, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of United Kingdom, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to caffeine and increased alertness. The food constituent, caffeine, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised. Increased alertness might be a beneficial physiological effect. A claim on caffeine and increased alertness, in the general adult population, for products containing at least 75 mg of caffeine per serving, has already been assessed by the Panel with a favourable outcome. In the present application, the applicant proposed that, in order to bear the claim, a product should contain at least 40 mg of caffeine per serving. In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that most studies which measured reaction time in various cognitive tasks found no effect of caffeine at doses < 75 mg. In the particular dose range between 40 and < 75 mg, no effect of caffeine was found on the majority of outcome measures of reaction time. The Panel notes that the majority of studies with caffeine doses of 75 mg or higher showed a significant reduction in measures of reaction time. On the basis of the evidence provided, the Panel reiterates its previous conclusion that, in order to bear the claim, a product should contain at least 75 mg caffeine per serving. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of caffeine and increased alertness under the conditions of use proposed by the applicant.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
nda [at]
EFSA Journal 2014;12(2):3574 [16 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
Competent Authority of United Kingdom following an application by SmithKline Beecham Limited
Print on demand
Number of Pages