Using caffeine to perk up your morning or get through an afternoon slump is pretty standard. So it makes sense to consider using the substance to supercharge your fitness performance. If you’re wondering whether to caffeinate, here’s what you need to know:
Caffeine is well-known as a performance enhancer. Research shows 75-90% of athletes turn to caffeine to boost their energy and get through competition without fading.
Specifically, caffeine seems to help with endurance events. In research these are athletic efforts lasting longer than 5 minutes with the acknowledgment that the longer the event, the more caffeine assists performance. This performance-enhancing ability is due to caffeine’s effect on the central nervous system, ability to blunt pain, increase mood, reduce fatigue and improve mental cognition.
Caffeine can be an extremely effective way to boost performance if taken at a dose your body can handle and provided at the right time during the effort. Special attention should be paid to learning your individual caffeine habits in and out of training to develop a protocol that is right for you.