Print Edition - 2019-04-11  |  Health and Living

Caffeine could boost exercise performance


Apr 11, 2019-

Taking caffeine before exercise could improve performance during a broad range of exercise tasks, according to a new review of past research.

In particular, caffeine could help speed, power, strength and endurance, researchers wrote in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Supplementation with caffeine is highly prevalent among athletes, with one study from 2011 indicating that around 75 percent of urine samples from athletes competing in the Olympic Games contain measurable levels of caffeine,” said lead author Jozo Grgic of Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.

In 2004, caffeine was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency list of substances banned during competitions.

“Since then, the intake of caffeine among athletes has only increased with no signs of slowing down,” Grgic said.

Grgic and colleagues conducted an “umbrella review”—meaning they looked at results of earlier reviews that analyzed multiple studies of caffeine and exercise performance.

The 21 earlier reviews, done between 2004 and 2018, analyzed an average of 19 studies each. Grgic’s team found that caffeine helped muscle endurance, muscle strength, jumping performance, exercise speed, anaerobic power and aerobic endurance.

Three reviews, involving an average of 13 studies each, supported the ergogenic, or enhancing, effect of caffeine on strength. Two reviews, which looked at a total of 39 studies, supported an effect on endurance.

One review supported an effect of caffeine on vertical jump height, and one supported speed during running, cycling and rowing.


Published: 11-04-2019 11:10

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