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Caffeine can enhance exercise performance, but timing may be critical.
In this study eight male cyclists in their 20’s who regularly consumed moderate amounts of caffeine (two of them) or no caffeine (six of them) were asked to participate in five separate lab sessions.
On the first visit maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) was measured. On the remaining visits the cyclists were asked to chew three pieces of gum, one each at 120 minutes, 60 minutes, and 5 minutes, before completing a standard warm-up, a 15 minute ride at 75% VO2max on a stationary bike, and a time trial while being monitored.
On three of those occasions, in random order, one piece of gum contained 300 mg caffeine and the other two no caffeine; on the final visit none of the gum contained caffeine.
Performance following the 120 minute prior and 60 minute prior caffinated gum were essentially the same as during no-caffeine trial, while performance following the 5 minute prior trial was significantly enhanced.
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Here’s how to brew the perfect cup.