Caffeine & It’s Role in Performance

Many of you consume caffeine on a regular basis. It can be found in coffee, tea, soft drink, energy drinks & chocolate. You may even use it to help you stay awake and alert in the mornings or whilst driving. But what is it’s role in your athletic performance?

A number of studies have found that caffeine improves performance and it was once on the WADA’s (world anti-doping authority) list of banned substances. It has since been moved to the”monitoring” list and is acceptable for consumption in training & competition.

Caffeine has been proved to increase alertness and endurance performance. The recommended dosage is 3-6mg/kg of body weight consumed 60mins prior to exercise. The amount of caffeine in the bloodstream peaks between 30-60mins with the affects lasting up to 5 hours. Although some studies have shown improved performance with additional caffeine taken later in the session/event.

Therefore, it would be recommended to take a small amount of caffeine (3mg/kg of body weight) 60mins prior to exercise and then 1mg/kg body weight every 2 hours after that.

Source: Asker Jeukendrup (2011) Nutrition for endurance sports: Marathon, triathlon, and road cycling (view here)

Read further about Coca-Cola’s role in¬†endurance nutrition.