TAMPA (CBS Tampa) — Drinking orange juice could increase alertness, concentration, and reaction times, according to new research.
Researchers found that positive effects of orange juice lasted for hours in some participants, with those who drank juice at breakfast feeling more awake during the afternoon, according to The Daily Mail.
A team of researchers from Reading University conducted mental tests on 24 young men on two different days.
One day the group of participants had a glass of orange juice before being tested, the other day they were given a flavored, sugary water that looked and tasted like orange juice. The findings indicate that the men did better on tests of speed and attention after consuming the real juice. Participants also reported feeling alert six hours after consuming the real juice.
Experts say the reaction may be due to flavonoids, health-boosting plant chemicals that are found in many fruits and vegetables. These flavonoids may increase blood flow to the brain, resulting in an easier passage of information between brain cells.
The study suggests that drinking just 240ml a day, a small glass, could be beneficial to energy and attention. The orange juice used in the study was a store-bought variety fortified with extra pulp.
“Eating or drinking flavonoid-rich fruit could be a great morning tonic, helping us to maintain alertness and concentration in the classroom or at work,” Researcher Daniel Lamport said of the findings.
More than 60 million citrus trees are grown annually in Florida, according to the Florida Agriculture Statistics Services. Of the citrus harvested, 90 percent is processed into juice and the remainder sold as fresh fruit.
The research was funded by PepsiCo, which makes Tropicana fruit juice.