Here’s How Caffeine Can Boost Your Gym Performance – Even If You Already Drink A Lot Of Coffee
You don’t have to wean off it to see results
Looking for an extra boost before a 5K or a gym session where you’re hoping to set a new personal best? The answer might be at your local coffee shop, a study from Brazil suggests. Science has known for years that caffeine can help athletic performance—that’s why the pre-workout supplements you see at the vitamin shops often contain a significant amount of it. But it also raised the question of if whether people who drink a lot of coffee on the regular would still receive that boost from it.
So scientists tested it out. They broke up a group of trained cyclists into three groups: The low-caffeine group normally drank the equivalent of one cup of coffee or less a day, the moderate-caffeine group about two cups a day, and the high-caffeine group three or more cups a day. Then, they performed cycling rides on three different dates that were intended to last about 30 minutes. An hour before the first, they took a supplement containing about 400 milligrams of caffeine, the New York Times reports. Before the second, they took a placebo pill an hour before their ride. They didn’t take anything before their third ride. The result? The riders performed significantly better on the ride driven by caffeine—nearly 1.5 minutes faster than when they took no pill at all.
Perhaps most surprising, though, is that there was no change in performance increase based on caffeine groups, meaning that those who were used to drinking the most caffeine still saw a boost from taking it.Caffeine can boost your endurance during exercise, making you able to perform longer before exhaustion kicks in, a separate study on caffeine found.
Still, you don’t want to drink too much of it. The maximum recommended daily dose of caffeine is 400 mg a day. That’s about four standard cups of coffee.
Take in too much caffeine and you raise your risk of side effects, like headache, nausea, tremors, hyperventilation, and agitation.
Originally published on menshealth.com