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Caffeine can get you moving and help you stay alert. But what about the health of your wallet?

Do you browse online for stuff to buy during coffee breaks? Or grab an energy drink or latte on your way to pick up groceries? In this episode of "Health Fusion," Viv Williams explores a study about how caffeine may influence spending.

Coffee beans next to a cup of coffee
Drinking caffeinated beverages before shopping may influence how much you buy and spend, a study shows.
Viv Williams / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Research shows that caffeine may help decrease fatigue, increase alertness and it is associated with a decreased risk of depression. But what does it do to the health of your wallet?

A recent study shows that the stimulant, when consumed before you go shopping, may prompt you to buy more stuff and spend more money.

The study, published in the Journal of Marketing, shows that consuming a caffeinated beverage before you go shopping, enhances how impulsive you are. The researchers found that people who drink caffeinated products before browsing online or in stores tend to buy more and spend more. And the study showed that the effect is stronger when it comes to what the marketing world describes as "high-hedonic" products — think flashy items, such as fancy shoes you don't really need, sports cars, etc.

The researchers say that if you're trying to watch your spending, consider avoiding caffeine before you shop.


Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.


When arctic blasts plummet temperatures, stepping outside can be dangerous. In this Health Fusion episode, Viv Williams talks to a researcher about what intensely cold air could do to anyone's lungs.

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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