Coffee, Caffeine, and Exercise

16 Nov


Coffee sometimes gets a bad rap.  It’s full of antioxidants and essential nutrients, and has been linked with potential health benefits including: protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.

Additionally, coffee (caffeine) can improve energy levels, cognition, and physical performance.

Caffeine is one of two (legal) supplements documented to improve athletic and exercise performance (creatine being the other).

Athletes and active individuals routinely ingest caffeine to facilitate improvement during athletic activity, and resistance and endurance exercise.

Although the research regarding the relationship between caffeine and aerobic exercise performance is mixed, the majority of studies corroborate an improvement in resistance exercise performance after caffeine ingestion.

According to a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, “Coffee (0.15 g/kg) and decaffeinated coffee plus caffeine (5 mg/kg) have the ability to improve performance during a resistance exercise protocol.” (Richardson, D,  This effect was especially significant in the short term.

The findings of this study include:

  • Caffeine increased contractility and force production of skeletal muscle
  • Caffeine enhanced neuromuscular transmission and maximal muscle activation
  • Increased calcium release and sodium-potassium pump activity
  • Inhibited negative effects of pain perception
  • Improved reaction time, cognition, and mood

Please see related articles:

Caffeine Reduces Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness

How Does Caffeine Affect Athletic Performance?


Your thoughts?


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