Caffeine is one of the most researched substances reported to help athletes perform better and train longer and harder. As a result, professional and amateur sportspeople often take it as a performance-enhancing “ergogenic” aids for a wide range of activities.
But while most research looks at the effects of pure caffeine consumed as tablets with water, in the real world most people get their caffeine from coffee, energy drinks or other products like special gels or chewing gum. So will drinking a cup of joe before your workout actually make a difference? The answer could depend as much on your genes as what kind of coffee you’re drinking.
Research has shown that pure caffeine can help endurance athletes run faster and cycle for longer. It can help footballers to sprint more often and over greater distances, and basketball players to jump higher. It can help tennis players and golfers to hit the ball with greater accuracy. And it can help weightlifters lift more weight.
An increasing number of studies have also shown that coffee can be used as an alternative to caffeine to improve cycling and competitive running performance and produce similar results similar to pure caffeine. In fact, coffee may even be more effective at improving resistance exercise than caffeine alone. Similarly, drinking energy drinks containing caffeine before exercise can improve mental focus, alertness, anaerobic performance and endurance performance.
In fact, you could end up feeling nauseated and jittery at a time when, if you are competing, you are already feeling anxious. And, as caffeine’s effects can linger for up to five hours, taking it too late in the day could disrupt your sleep, which is a big factor in health and fitness in general. This means it’s important to practice with caffeine during training sessions or friendly fixtures before using it for an important event.
Read the full article at SBS