Nutrition – Caffeine

What do you know about Caffeine?

photo credit by glendelman.com

We all know that coffee wakes you up in the morning and gets us through the afternoon slump. Have you ever noticed feeling an extra boost during a morning workout after drinking a cup of Joe? Caffeine is considered a stimulant and there is research that caffeine improves athletic performance in some sports, especially endurance activities. It seems simple. Just grab a coffee before your race and you have a PR, right? Not exactly. The dosage is important and if you are already an avid coffee drinker the caffeine may not have the same effect. In addition, the exact dose depends on body size, age, gender, and level of tolerance. If you are someone who has the mentality that if a little is good than more must be better, beware. Too much caffeine can actually hinder performance. You might be wondering how much caffeine and when?
Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact mechanism for how caffeine boosts athletic performance. Caffeine works at the central nervous system with the release of epinephrine, which stimulates the release of free-fatty acids and muscle triglycerides used by muscle for energy, sparing the use of glycogen. This could possibly be the reason for why many athletes feel that caffeine allows them to exercise for longer periods of time at higher intensities. It is easy to overdo the caffeine…read more.

Katie Kissane, MS, RD
My Nutrition Coach, LLC

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