Caffeine In Sport

It is not at all unusual to use caffeine in sports, as it can help us improve results and reduce the feeling of tiredness, but we also need to know to what extent it has a positive influence.
Caffeine in sports

Many people drink coffee to study or to work after midnight. But did you know that this drink not only stimulates the brain but also the motor skills? Believe it or not, caffeine in sports plays an important role.

It stimulates the organism

Much has been said and written about the stimulating effects of coffee. We all know that a cup can keep us awake even when we are very sleepy. Obviously, this effect occurs due to a stimulation of the nervous system.

This stimulation is able to inhibit the feeling of drowsiness, but not only: the whole body responds to this excitement that comes from the nerve endings. Basically, our body goes on alert and this improves its responses.

As a result of this stimulation, sports performance improves. If we analyze it carefully, an athlete aspires to have faster responses to certain stimuli. In addition to that, caffeine activates us and this improves endurance during exercise.

Girl drinking coffee after sport.

Cells and caffeine: how do they interact?

The effectiveness of caffeine is immediate and this is due to its ability to be rapidly absorbed by our body. This substance is rapidly distributed in all cells : just one hour after consumption, its levels rise in our blood.

The relationship between caffeine and our metabolic processes has been extensively studied. Ingestion of this food product increases heart rate and blood pumping. In turn, this increases the heat in the body thus promoting the burning of calories.

Then we are no longer just talking about stimulating the brain: muscle training can also benefit to some extent. More studies are needed to fully understand the relationship between physical activity and caffeine products, but what is certain is that it is an addictive substance.

Caffeine in sports: an ergogenic aid

Here’s how caffeine works in our body improving sports performance:

  • It increases the metabolism of exogenous carbohydrates : it helps to burn excess calories. Muscle tone benefits from this effect several times.
  • Enhance the oxidation of fatty acids : This can only mean burning fat and increasing metabolism. Again, this is a great muscle building step.
  • Promotes Adrenaline : An increase in caffeine improves our immediate response in the middle of exercise and allows us to overcome fatigue more easily.
  • Decreases interstitial potassium : occurs directly in the muscles. The feeling of tiredness is delayed, which equates to greater efficiency and endurance in performance.

Side effects of caffeine in sports

Controlled consumption of caffeine in sports shouldn’t cause major problems. In fact, coffee and chocolate drinks are allowed and can be an important part of our diet. However, excesses always hurt. Furthermore, it is indisputable that this is an addictive substance.

There are other effects of its excessive consumption: dizziness, digestive problems, increased blood pressure and gastrointestinal pain. Sometimes, headaches and some motor deficiencies may also appear, which are detrimental to both intellectual and sports performance.

Woman drinking a coffee.

In the long run, caffeine addiction can have the opposite effect. Therefore, many advise against taking products such as coffee before exercising. To this we must add that not all organisms assimilate caffeine in the same way.

Caffeine in sport: what are the recommended doses?

Everything will depend on the abilities of each person. Taking around 100mg before training may be more than enough for those not used to this substance. This will allow you to feel active, stimulated and with a better nervous response.

In case we are already familiar with drinks like tea, coffee or foods like chocolate, the recommended amount is around 200 mg. In general, a consumption of 4 mg and 8 mg for each kilogram of body weight is recommended. The decision whether or not to use caffeine in sports will be up to each athlete.

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