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Does Coffee Enhance Athletic Performance?
If you are a morning jogger, weekend soccer player or weight lifter does coffee enhance athletic performance? Does it cause problems? Is there any prohibition to the use of coffee as a stimulant in organized sports? The last question is the easiest to answer. Coffee is considered a food or beverage and its use is not restricted in organized sports. But, will coffee give you the jitters just when you want to calm down? And will coffee give you that extra boost as you approach the end of your run? Is it better for an athlete to drink healthy organic coffee to avoid the impurities often found in regular coffee? Here are a few facts and few thoughts on the question, does coffee enhance athletic performance?
What Does Coffee Do for the Athlete?
We know that coffee wakes you up if you are sleepy. This is probably more important in in interactive sports like tennis, soccer, basketball, etc. where it is important to pay attention no matter how tired you are. But, how does coffee enhance athletic performance in sports like long distance running or weight lifting? Here is the Cliff Notes version.
Via a series of chemical regulatory pathways in the human body the caffeine in coffee affects the regulation of glycogen, sugars and lipid metabolism and stimulates the release of adrenaline.
Coffee can be effective to enhance performance when ingested as close as fifteen minutes before exercise or competition although an hour before is ideal to insure complete absorption and initiation of the regulatory pathways the help coffee enhance athletic performance.
Coffee is effective in enhancing athletic performance in moderate amounts, three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight and larger amounts do not appear to help.
An eight ounce cup of brewed coffee contains from 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.
A 154 pound runner weighs 70 kilograms.
Since three milligrams per kilogram times seventy kilograms comes to just over 210 milligrams it turns out that one stiff cup of coffee taken within an hour of performance will likely enhance athletic performance.
Two cups may be better but three will be a waste of time.