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Training day after day for a competition can sap your body’s energy supply. But new research from Australia reveals that caffeine can help you maintain momentum when your carbohydrate stores are depleted. In the study, tired cyclists who ingested 1.4 milligrams of caffeine per half kilo of body weight experienced less performance decline than carb-depleted athletes who took a placebo. Caffeine increases activity in your sympathetic nervous system, producing a flood of adrenaline and increasing your muscles’ capacity for work, regardless of carbohydrate availability, says study author Dr Stephen Lane.
He suggests popping a small amount of caffeine energy gel before a game.
Find out how much caffeine is too much for you before you go popping to many.