Caffeine has a significant impact on our bodies; anyone who stops or drinks too many cups knows it. This is also why one of the most asked questions is, what effect caffeine has on sports and the performance of athletes. To understand all the effects of it you first need to know what caffeine is.
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that is metabolised via the liver. It’s absorbed into the stomach and intestines within 30 minutes after consumption. It remains elevated in our systems for three up to six hours and once coffee metabolized it breaks done into three compounds that affect the vasodilation, opens up ventilation and activates fat oxidation. It stimulates the heart, nervous system and heart. Caffeine also stimulates the respiration and nervous system, while it offers an energy boost. The effect caffeine has on performance is substantial enough to result in regulation of it.
Caffeine is regulated just like any of the other performance-altering compounds and chemicals, several sports associations and agencies, as well as the International Olympic Committee, limit it to 12 μg per urine ml. What reaches the concentration is a dose that contains 9 up to a maximum of 13 mg one hour prior to the performance. The consumption of caffeine and strength is also strongly dependent on factors such as body weight and gender. The National Collegiate Athletic Association rules it illegal if the urinary concentration exceeds 15 μg, caffeine is not considered to be a banned substance by the World Anti-doping Agency although it is included in the monitoring program, used to establish misuse patterns in athletic performance and competition.
Caffeine as an Endurance Performance Enhancer
A fine-tuned nutrition program is vital when it comes to performance, and most endurance athletes do find caffeine extremely beneficial, performance wise. Tests and monitoring by McNaughton and colleagues indicated that a moderate 6 mg dose could enhance the performance of cyclist over a one-hour-time-trail. The cyclist that took caffeine could ride much further and their time-trail performance improved by up to 5%. The more significant benefit is offered by caffeine without water when it is compared to a cup of coffee when it comes to endurance performance enhancement.
Strength Performance Enhanced
Caffeine effects or benefits is not limited to endurance enhancement; research also found that caffeine is most beneficial when it comes to firm performance. Power and strength athletes also benefit from caffeine, especially male athletes performing leg presses and chest presses according to the Wingate Test. The test results also indicated remarkable performance increases in both strength and peak power.
Recommended Caffeine Limits by Mayo Clinic
It has been proven that caffeine can improve both endurance and strength training and the Mayo Clinic recommends a daily intake of up to a maximum of 100mg per day. Adults that do exceed the limit could suffer from side effects such as rapid heartbeat, muscle tremors and insomnia. The best way to increase performance remains a healthy diet!