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13.11.2021


Adding coffee to post-workout meal speeds up glycogen recovery

After an exhausting workout, athletes replenish their glycogen stores faster if they drink coffee with their post-workout meal. Brazilian researchers discovered a simple nutritional strategy that allows athletes to recover faster.


Adding coffee to post-workout meal speeds up glycogen recovery


Study
Biochemists from the Universidade de Brasilia experimented with 11 endurance athletes - with cyclists and triathletes, if you want to know exactly. The researchers got the subjects to cycle according to a protocol in which they used up the glycogen stores in their muscles. They were then given a low-carbohydrate meal, and the athletes had to undergo the procedure again the following morning.

At that time, the researchers removed a piece of muscle tissue from the vastus lateralis of the athletes and measured the amount of glycogen in the muscles. Shortly afterwards, the athletes were given a breakfast in two parts. That first consisted of a recovery drink with milk and carbohydrates, and two hours later of eggs and bread.

The researchers performed the test twice. On one occasion the researchers added coffee to the recovery drink and the subjects were given coffee with their lunch [the experimental condition], on the other they did not.

Click on the figure below for a larger version.


Adding coffee to post-workout meal speeds up glycogen recovery


Two hours after the solid meal, the Brazilians removed a piece of muscle for a second time. This happened 4 hours after the first muscle biopsy was taken.

Results
In the 4-hour period during which the researchers monitored the glycogen concentration in the athletes' muscles, the subjects' muscles produced no less than six times more glycogen if they drank coffee with their late breakfast.


Adding coffee to post-workout meal speeds up glycogen recovery


Adding coffee to post-workout meal speeds up glycogen recovery


You can see above how coffee accelerates the recovery of glycogen levels: adding coffee to breakfast augments insulin and glucose levels.

Conclusion
"The addition of coffee to a post-exercise beverage with adequate amounts of carbohydrates is an effective strategy to improve muscle glycogen recovery for those cycling athletes with a short-time recovery (less than 4 h) or competitions with multiple and sequential bouts of exercise", write the Brazilians.

"It is currently not possible to define the exact coffee components underlying the latter effect. However, caffeine, caffeic acid, and cafestol are plausible candidates, given previous findings indicating their effect on insulin secretion and muscle glucose uptake."

"These findings add to the current knowledge on the ergogenic properties of coffee."

Remark
The researchers mentioned cafestol above, but fortunately this substance is not present in significant amounts in conventionally prepared coffee. Perhaps the researchers meant kahweol?

Source:
Nutrients. 2021 Sep 23;13(10):3335.

More:
Whether or not you are used to caffeine, a cup of coffee improves sports performance 18.12.2020
1.9 percent faster running after a cup of coffee 13.12.2019
Coffee better stimulant than caffeine pill for strength athletes 30.04.2016

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Don't feel like training? Caffeine makes exercise more enjoyable
People who want to do sports, but find exertion unpleasant, can probably benefit from a high dose of caffeine.

Better strength training and less muscle pain after three cups of coffee
Bodybuilders and other strength athletes can squeeze more reps out of their sets if they consume the amount of caffeine contained in three cups of coffee before doing a workout.

Small amount of caffeine gives strength athlete better grip on weights
During long weights sets where you go for the burn in your calves or lower arms and also exercises where you may lose your grip on the weights, pain is a limiting factor.