Coffee has long since left its bad reputation of the past. If you don’t drink it in excess, it should even counteract various diseases and support the heart function. In the short term, many fans attest him to improve reaction time, attention and logical thinking. This makes coffee and the caffeine it contains a big issue in sports circles. And in fact, medical journalist Sven-David Müller confirms certain advantages for sport in an interview with FITBOOK: Caffeine is said to increase muscle strength and improve concentration.
To increase performance, caffeine is particularly suitable for endurance sports, as well as for weightlifting and even for brain sports such as chess or shooting. Sounds like doping – but it’s not (yet). “However, caffeine is monitored by WADA because abuse in competitive and high-performance sports cannot be ruled out,” explains expert Müller.
The inclusion of caffeine the nervous system and thus the production is stimulated by neurotransmitters. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes for the active ingredient to fully develop; Sven-David Müller therefore recommends drinking coffee about half an hour before the required performance. Whether you like it black or with (vegan) milk is irrelevant for the physical reaction. However, a large, frothy latte macchiato could be a little heavier in the stomach than a short espresso.
Study confirmed the effect of coffee before exercise
So caffeine works quickly and in a targeted manner. And the fact that coffee is supposed to increase body temperature and thus improve fat burning is an argument for many people to include it in diets. Coffee also contains polyphenols, which are said to have a positive effect on health. Apparently there is no danger of getting used to the energy-boosting effect. This is scientifically proven.
A group of Brazilian and British researchers investigated whether – and, if so, how – caffeine, taken immediately before a workout, affects the performance of endurance athletes. 40 male professional cyclists took part in the study , which is documented in ” The National Library of Medicine “, the world’s largest medical library. They were divided into a group that drank less than one coffee a day on average, a second group that took two cups, and a third group that had a cup more than three times a day.
All test subjects were monitored by the scientists during training units on the ergometer. In individual phases of the study, they were given caffeine tablets with the strength of four cups of coffee in groups, in another phase they were given a placebo and in another phase nothing to take. The result: The men under the influence of caffeine were on average 3.3 percent and the placebo group about 2.2 percent faster than those who were on the road without any energy boosters.
Don’t overestimate the effect of coffee before exercise!
Felix Klemme is a qualified sports scientist and personal coach. He knows exactly what influence coffee has on the body’s functions: It increases the heart and respiratory rate, the energy expenditure and thus, allegedly, fat burning. “This is because caffeine affects the adrenal cortex and triggers stress hormones,” explains the expert in an interview with FITBOOK. But that is actually not a desirable effect.
Because: Klemme reminds us that exercise alone puts the body in a kind of stressful state. “And most people have too much stress anyway. And drink too much coffee! ”He also likes to drink it himself: because of the taste – not because he hopes it will improve performance. In the end, it is up to you whether you take this as an example or rely on the (minor) caffeine effect.