Coffee is a stimulant, which means it increases concentration and alertness. Many of us drink it in the morning or during the work day to improve our mental performance. Interestingly, caffeine can also have stimulant effects that improve physical performance during exercise.
We asked three experts in sports science & cardiology, “Does coffee help improve exercise performance?” That’s what we found out.
What are the facts about caffeine and sports performance?
Dr. Neil Clarke, a sports science expert at Coventry University in the UK, says, “Caffeine is one of the best-researched substances that helps athletes perform better & train longer & harder. This is why it is often viewed by professional and amateur athletes as a performance-enhancing “ergogenic” aid for a wide-range of activities.
Various research has shown that caffeine improves performance in running, cycling, soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, & weightlifting.
Dr. Clarke says “the evidence for the effects of caffeine in sprinting is more mixed. Limited improvements were found at events less than three minutes in length. But for races of about ten seconds, caffeine can improve peak performance, speed, and strength.” . “
Are coffee and caffeine tablets the same effect?
Most of the studies focus on the effects of caffeine pills instead of coffee. It’s harder to measure how coffee affects athletic performance because caffeine levels vary from cup to cup. However, there are some studies that specifically look at the effects of coffee.
Dr. Clarke says that “an increasing number of studies have also shown that coffee can be used as an alternative to caffeine to improve cycling and running performance, and they produce results similar to pure caffeine. In fact, coffee can be even more effective at improving-endurance-exercise than caffeine alone.
Are they any limitation?
As with any nutritional research, there are a few caveats and complications to be aware of.
Dr. Neil Schwartz, a sports science expert at the University of South Alabama in the US, says that “People react differently to caffeine / coffee consumption. If well tolerated, coffee can support both mental and physical performance. The differences between the way people respond to caffeine lie in both their genes & their usual caffeine consumption.
Drinking coffee can also have disadvantages. Caffeine has been linked to anxiety and decreased sleep, which can adversely affect athletic performance.
Dr. Clarke said, “You might end up feeling sick and nervous while you are already feeling anxious while running.
The Takeaway: Caffeine has been shown to improve athletic performance in a number of ways, but the effects vary from person to person.
This article is based on the answers of three experts to this question: Does coffee help improve body function?
This expert’s answer was published in the independent fact-checking platform Metafact.io.