If you are daily tea of coffee drinker, you are probably well aware of the pick-me-up effect that drinking this brew creates. Nevertheless, caffeine effects don’t only include improved mental performance, but also boosted physical performance.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, therefore caffeine consumption results in enhanced motor coordination and a reduced perception of effort. This is important because many experts now believe that the sensation of muscular fatigue during training arises primarily because of CNS fatigue rather than by muscles running out of fuel, or an accumulation of fatiguing by-products in exercising muscles.
It has also been proven that drinking coffee before training helps the body to use a higher proportion of fat for energy, which helps save precious muscle glycogen (the body’s premium training fuel) and consequently extending endurance.
Whatever the exact mechanisms of caffeine effects on boosting performance, a number of studies have shown conclusively that it’s an highly effective sports supplement. Usually, caffeine can delay the onset of fatigue during endurance training lasting more than 30 minutes and allow higher work rates to be maintained for longer during training, and with a decreased perception of effort.
The benefits in performance that caffeine produces aren’t enormous in absolute terms (usually just a few percent), however, in competitive sport, the difference between winning and being an also-ran is usually measured in seconds, even over very long races.
Some recent studies have also discovered that caffeine supplementation may benefit those athletes whose activities involve shorter, more intense sprint-like sessions, such as football or middle and sprint distance running and so on.