Thursday, August 26, 2010

Caffeine, Carbohydrates, and Sports Performance

Caffeine has been used in sports for many, many years. There have been many studies conducted aiming to prove or disprove the efficacy of caffeine in sports. Most studies have been done on endurance events with 200 to 400mg of caffeine. Ivy et al (1979) concluded that caffeine definitely increased lipid metabolism AND work production in 9 trained cyclists over a 2 hour exercise session. More recently, the research has been focused on combining carbohydrates with caffeine during sports performance. Ivy et al (2009) did a study on cycling performance after drinking Red Bull.

The results once again showed improved performance with no increase in RPE. Another study by Gant et al (2010) showed that soccer players improved sprint performance and countermovement jumping after consuming a carbohydrate/caffeine sports drink. Even more interesting was a study conducted Stevenson et al (2009) on golf performance. During a simulated round of golf, even skill movements like putting improved with the ingestion of carbohydrates and caffeine throughout the 4 hour period. It was concluded that the carb/caffeine mix must also improve focus.

Thus far, little research has been done on caffeine and weight lifting. There have been some positive results on muscular endurance but not much on muscular strength. In conclusion, many experts believe that caffeine or a caffeine/carb mix will improve performance on longer sporting events but very few believe it will increase strength such as a 1RM on a bench press.

1 comment:

  1. I have been preaching for the last few years on the importance of caffeine for athletes. After adding 200 - 300mg before my training... my exercise intensity and performance has been much higher.

    Its refreshing to see these benifits talked about! Thanks