Can A Cup of Coffee Boost Athletic Performance?

For some, the sound of the coffee pot purring to life in the morning and the smell of freshly brewed coffee is the only way to start the day. For others, coffee is a treat and finding the best tasting coffee is an adventure. From Starbucks and Dunkin’ to small town coffee shops, the effect of coffee on the brain is still the same.

Check out this video by AsapSCIENCE on how coffee affects your brain!

Since coffee affects your brain, it makes sense that it can also affect your athletic performance. The NCAA states, “When consumed in moderate amounts of 200-300 milligrams per day in the form of food or beverages (equivalent to about two 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee), it is considered socially acceptable and safe.”

A study done at Rice University on caffeine and athletes reported:

“If you choose to use caffeine, then here are a few tips that may help you maximize the benefits.

  • Ingest caffeine about 3 – 4 hours before the competition. Although blood levels of caffeine peak much sooner, the maximum caffeine effect on fat stores appears to occur several hours after peak blood levels.
  • Consider decreasing or abstaining from caffeine for 3 – 4 days prior to competition. This allows for tolerance to caffeine to decrease and helps ensure a maximum effect of caffeine. Be careful though, because some may experience caffeine withdrawal.
  • Make sure that you have used caffeine extensively under a variety of training conditions and are thoroughly familiar with how your body reacts to this drug. Never try anything new on race day.
  • Be prepared to accept the consequences if your urine test is above the current cutoff.”

Caffeine won’t have a benefit to avid coffee drinkers, who drink a cup or more a day. A boost in athletic performance will occur in an athlete who does not drink coffee very often. Check out more information with this NCAA guide to caffeine and athletic performance.

coffee benefits

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