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Ergo-Log

22.08.2023


Athletes who drink coffee daily respond well to caffeine supplements

Coffee, energy drinks, tea and cola contain caffeine. If you consume those foods on a daily basis, your body has become accustomed to caffeine - and you therefore respond less well to caffeine supplementation. It sounds logical, but according to a human study published in 2011 in the Journal of Sports Sciences, things are a bit different.


Athletes who drink coffee daily respond well to caffeine supplements


Study
Christopher Irwin, affiliated with Australia's Griffith University, subjected 12 trained cyclists to a time trial on 4 different occasions. The cyclists had to perform an amount of work that corresponded to cycling for 60 minutes at an intensity of 75 percent of their maximum capacity.

On 2 occasions the cyclists took a placebo 90 minutes before the time trial. On 2 other occasions they took a dose of 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilo of body weight.

During a period of 4 days before the time trial, the subjects did not consume any foods containing caffeine. On 2 occasions the subjects took a placebo every day, on 2 other occasions they took a daily supplement containing 1.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. So a test subject weighing 70 kilos consumed 105 milligrams of caffeine every day. That amounts to a big strong cup of coffee.

Results
The 4-day period in which the subjects did not consume caffeine had no influence on the concentration of caffeine in the subjects' blood during the experiment. You can see this below.


Athletes who drink coffee daily respond well to caffeine supplements


Caffeine shortened the time it took the subjects to complete their time trial, regardless of whether or not the athletes consumed caffeine during the 4 days prior to the trial.

After an abstinence period, caffeine supplementation improved time by 1.49 minutes [P = 0.021]. If the subjects had consumed a small amount of caffeine daily, caffeine supplementation shortened the time by 2.07 minutes [P = 0.002].

Click on the table below for a larger version.


Athletes who drink coffee daily respond well to caffeine supplements


Conclusion
"Therefore, acute caffeine supplementation positively effects exercise performance and provides an ergogenic benefit in regular caffeine users regardless of any withdrawal period," the researchers summarize.

You should note that this applies to light caffeine users. Whether this also applies to men and women who use coffee as a staple food? You can't deduce that from this study?

Source:
J Sports Sci. 2011 Mar;29(5):509-15.

More:
Whether or not you are used to caffeine, a cup of coffee improves sports performance 18.12.2020

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