Coffee and sports performance: what’s to know?

Friday, 30 March 2018


At one time the use of caffeine in sport was considered doping.

When we talk about the relationship between physical performance and caffeine, we need to think about the effects the substance has on muscles.

In fact, if we analyse the mechanism of action of caffeine, it is evident that its main role is in the muscles.

Basically caffeine induces the body to start consuming fat mass to produce energy, allowing the athlete to save the glycogen contained in the muscles. Caffeine reduces the perception of effort, the sensation of fatigue, because it helps to improve muscular efficiency.

This means that drinking coffee before working out, in moderation of course, will allow your body to burn more fat. But not only that, many scientific studies have shown that coffee can actually improve performance, because:

 

  • It increases the fatty acids that are circulating, which are very important nutrients for our body;
  • It increases the oxidation of fatty acids;
  • It reduces the use of carbohydrates during physical activity, since it helps to increase the use of fats

 

Like everything, caffeine should be consumed in moderation, so a few precautions should be taken. If you are a person prone to problems of the gastrointestinal tract, or to significant changes in heart rhythm, this is a substance that should not be abused. In addition, caffeine can lead to dehydration, so make sure you always drink plenty of water, especially when training, the rule is that for every coffee taken you should increase your daily intake of water by two glasses.

 

The most authoritative scientific sources are unanimous in affirming that after taking in caffeine there is a real improvement in performance, but we should always keep in mind that our body responds to some variables that can modify its effects, such as genetics, athletic preparation, mood and addiction.

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