Boost Your Endurance with Caffeine: Is Late-Exercise Intake Effective?

Caffeine can enhance endurance performance, but optimal dosages should be determined based on personal tolerance and sensitivity. So, go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee, but remember to use it wisely to boost your performance

Boost Your Endurance with Caffeine: Is Late-Exercise Intake Effective?

BoostYour Endurance with Caffeine: Is Late-Exercise Intake Effective?

Caffeine is a popular choice among athletes looking fora performance edge. It has been shown to improve endurance and reduce feelings of fatigue. A study by Talanian and Spriet [1]published in Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism addresses a practical question many athletes have: Is caffeine intake late in exercise effective?

The study found that low and moderate doses of caffeine, delivered in a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution, ingested 80 minutes into a 2-hour cycling test improved time-trial performance when compared to the placebo trial. The optimal dose is likely individually determined, but the study recommended taking 200mg of caffeine as it was more effective than100mg.

Studies have also shown that caffeine ingestion before and during prolonged endurance events can lead to several performance benefits. Firstly, caffeine has been found to enhance fat oxidation, enabling athletes to spare their limited glycogen stores and prolong endurance capacity. Additionally, caffeine has been shown to increase muscle contractile function, resulting in improved force production and muscle power output. Furthermore, caffeine can help attenuate feelings of fatigue, enabling athletes to maintain a higher intensity of effort for a longer duration.However, it is important to note that individual responses to caffeine can vary, and optimal dosages should be determined based on personal tolerance and sensitivity. The primary mechanism through which caffeine exerts its effects is by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, which can reduce perceived exertion and enhance alertness and concentration.

 

It is important to note that many studies suggest that small doses can already have effects, and larger doses are not necessarily better. Additionally, it is recommended to take caffeine 40-60 minutes before the important “later section” of a race, or “before you need it”. If you’re affected by negative side effects of caffeine, reduce your intake to a minimum and test it out well in advance.

It’s important to consult with a qualified sports nutrition professional, plug for us at Smarter Fitness, to determine the most suitable caffeine protocol based on your individual needs and goals. And remember, more is not always better. Higher doses can increase the chances of side effects, including headaches, anxiety, increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and gastro-intestinal problems.

Caffeine can enhance endurance performance, but optimal dosages should be determined based on personal tolerance and sensitivity. So, go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee, but remember to use it wisely to boost your performance


[1] Talanian and Spriet Low and moderate doses of caffeine late in exercise improve performance in trained cyclists APNM 41: 850-855, 2016

 

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