Caffeine Consumption & Exercise

Sometimes we all need a little extra boost to get us going in the morning (especially on Monday mornings).  Whether you need a cup just to wake up, or feel like you need a little extra energy for your morning workout, go ahead and grab that cup a joe, it’s not going to hurt you.

Studies have shown that caffeine does not appear to benefit short term, high intensity exercise (ie. sprinting), however, research does support that caffeine can enhance performance in endurance sports.  In addition, caffeine has be shown to reduce pain during exercise as well as cut post-workout pain by nearly 50%.  Sounds pretty good, right?

How Does It Work?

Glycogen is the main fuel for muscles, with fat being a secondary fuel.  Exhaustion will occur when your bodies’ glycogen stores are depleted.  However, caffeine encourages working muscles to use fat as fuel which in turn, delays the depletion of muscle glycogen.  This simply allows for prolongation of exercise.

How does it affect you?

If you do not regularly consume caffeine I wouldn’t necessarily suggest you start.  However, based on this research, if you feel like your energy is very low during your workouts, you might try having a small cup prior to your workout just to see if it allows you to push yourself a little harder during your workout.

The following are links to research that supports the previous findings…

A team of University of Georgia researchers find that caffeine cuts post workout pain by up to 50%… http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070109172152.htm

A study by professor Robert Motl from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana shows that caffeine reduces pain during exercise…http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200831.htm

Now go enjoy a cup. : )

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