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30.04.2016


Coffee better stimulant than caffeine pill for strength athletes

Fitness fanatics, bodybuilders and other strength athletes train better after two cups of coffee than after a pill containing caffeine, write British sports scientists Darren Richardson and Neil Clarke in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Study
The researchers got nine trained male students to do a simple two-sets to failure bench press workout on different occasions.

On one occasion the subjects drank two cups of coffee an hour before starting their workout [COF]. The students consumed 0.15 g instant coffee per kg bodyweight. That provided them with 5 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight.

On another occasion the subjects drank two cups of decaffeinated instant coffee an hour before starting their workout [DEC]. The students consumed 0.15 g decaffeinated instant coffee per kg bodyweight.

On yet another occasion the subjects drank two cups of decaffeinated instant coffee an hour before starting their workout, and took caffeine pills as well [D+C]. The students consumed 0.15 g decaffeinated instant coffee and 5 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight.

On another occasion the students just took caffeine pills an hour before doing their strength training [CAF]. They then consumed 5 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight.

Finally, the students were given a placebo on one occasion an hour before the workout. [PLA]

Results
The subjects managed more reps when they did squats after drinking ordinary coffee, or decaffeinated coffee plus caffeine than when they had been given a placebo, caffeine pills or decaffeinated coffee. Apparently coffee contains more stimulants than just caffeine - or possibly substances that reinforce the stimulatory effect of caffeine.


Coffee better stimulant than caffeine pill for strength athletes



The figure below shows that for the number of bench-press reps done it made little difference what the subjects had been given.


Coffee better stimulant than caffeine pill for strength athletes



Conclusion
"The practical implications of the present study are that the ingestion of caffeinated coffee, providing 5 mg•kg-1 of caffeine (approximately two large cups i.e. 300 ml per cup) prior to resistance exercise, can enhance performance", the researchers wrote.

"Further research should be conducted to observe if enhancements in performance can be procured from a lower dose of caffeine from coffee, for example 3 mg/kg-1, which would be a more practical amount of coffee to drink (approximately 1 large cup i.e. 300 ml)."

Source:
J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print].

More:
Touch of caffeine makes pre-workout shake more effective 27.11.2013
Better strength training and less muscle pain after three cups of coffee 28.10.2013
Don't feel like training? Caffeine makes exercise more enjoyable 10.06.2012

Archives:
Resistance Training & Nutrition
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