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Caffeine as a Performance Enhancer

Posted by on Thursday, August 20, 2009, 12:40
This news item was posted in News category and has 1 Comment so far.

Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola beverages and some non prescription drugs. Caffeine is through to mobilize free fatty acids in the body.

The result of this mobilization is the increased use of free fatty acids as a fuel, sparing glycogen use and potentially delaying the time to exhaustion in endurance events.

Although this may prove to be true for some people, it is only valid for endurance events. Caffeine would not be beneficial in short term, high intensity events like sprint running where the body does not rely on fat as a fuel. The negative effects of caffeine should be considered carefully before using it as an ergogenic acid.

Doses of 50 to 200 mg of caffeine (approximately two cups of drip coffee) can change an athlete’s perception of fatigue. We may be physically tired, but if we do not perceive the extend of our tiredness due to caffeine ingestion, we may push ourselves to the point of causing injury. That last run down the ski hill is the riskiest one where we can get hurt.

Caffeine as a diuretic promotes the loss of body fluids and can contribute to dehydration. People should not count coffee as a hydration beverage when they are replacing fluids during an event.

Studies have shown that drinking caffeine while eating a high carbohydrate meal just before exercise negates that fat mobilizing effects of caffeine. It is well known that excesses of caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, stomach upset and headaches.

Everyone’s tolerance for caffeine differs. It is important to know your own tolerance before an event so you do not put a performance at a risk or add a negative to your training routine.

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1 Response to “Caffeine as a Performance Enhancer”

  1. 28 August, 2009, 16:34

    Love the caffeine !:P

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