The positive effect of caffeine on stamina in athletic performance
The new research published in the "British Journal of Sport Medicine"
The Tokyo Olympics countdown has officially begun. A few days before the opening ceremony on 23 July, athletes from all over the world are preparing for the sporting event par excellence. And in view of the games of the XXXII Olympiad, the most popular drink is confirmed as an important ally for sportsmen. A recent research reported by Isic (Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee), based on the most recent scientific evidence, has given new confirmations about the positive role of coffee, thanks to the bioactivity of caffeine, on athletic performance.
The lead comes from a large meta-analysis of 21 studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that caffeine can benefit a wide range of sports. In particular, it can improve muscle endurance and would appear to have a greater positive effect on aerobic activities than anaerobic ones. Dr JW Langer, nutrition expert and lecturer in medical pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen, commented: “When it comes to coffee and caffeine, the results are clear in relation to sportsmen: caffeine can help improve performance. Many studies show that athletes who consume caffeine before a race or sporting event are able to go faster, last longer, and recover faster than those without this extra boost. This is especially true in endurance activities, such as long-distance running".
Furthermore, Isic highlights how the scientific literature has already given ample feedback on the multiple benefits of coffee and caffeine in competitive activity, both in relation to the positive effects on the body and to the sport practiced. Several studies, including one focused on endurance exercises and jumping and one focused on a 5 km cycling time trial, have shown that caffeine brings improvements in sports both in regular and sporadic users. Low or moderate caffeine intake before or after exercise can help improve some basic cognitive functions in sports, especially energy levels, mood, reaction times and memory. Drinking coffee helps maintain hydration: although caffeine can have mild diuretic effects, drinking a cup of coffee contributes to the daily intake of fluids in the body. Research has shown that drinking a cup of coffee before a 1.6km run can improve times in male runners by up to 2%. In fact, athletes who drank caffeinated coffee ran about 4 seconds faster than those who drank decaffeinated coffee, stopping those who consumed the placebo by 5 seconds.
According to a study of a group of amateur runners, taking caffeine-based supplements on a 5km run produces greater benefits than a placebo. Caffeine, taken 5 to 60 minutes before training, could produce important benefits in footballers, particularly in jumping, sprinting and distance, as well as improving exhaustion time, counter-movement jump height and perception of effort.
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