Today on Coffee & Questions I answered your question - Is caffeine good for endurance performance?
Where can you find it?
Is there evidence for the use of caffeine?
What are the effects of caffeine?
How much do you need to take? More is not better
Below is a brief summary but please watch the replay to get all of the gold nuggets on caffeine use!
Caffeine is a widely used, socially acceptable stimulant.
Find it in tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks, chocolate and supplemented sports foods like gels and bloks/chews.
Here are some examples:
There is a solid body of evidence that supports caffeine use to enhance endurance exercise performance, with studies dating back to the 1970s.
It was removed from the WADA doping list back in 2004
In the AIS supplement framework, it is a group A supplement with evidence-based protocols
Major benefits achieved through CNS effects
Caffeine has a half-life of approximately 6-7 hours,
Peak blood concentrations occurring around 45-60 minutes
There are responders and non-responders
It’s important to trial caffeine in training before any thought of introducing it into a race.
Over the last 15 years, research has refined recommendations for caffeine use
We need an amount per kg - which has been significantly reduced over the years
More is not better - performance effects plateaus
Figure out the smallest possible dose to have the greatest effect
More is not better
Risk of negative effects - Increased HR, impaired fine motor control, anxiety overarousal
I'd suggest looking at using it Before and During endurance exercise
Play around with what works best for you and your particular event
If you currently use caffeine or are intending to use it, start with a low dose (1mg/kg) in training and build up to develop your own protocol that enhances performance using the lowest effective dose for you
THERE IS NO NEED TO WITHDRAW from caffeine before an event - it doesn't heighten the effects or improve performance so keep your daily coffee and thank me later ;)
And lastly, caffeine is not a substitute for quality training and race experience. Caffeine supplementation also shouldn’t be considered for younger athletes.
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If you want help putting into practice any of the strategies above, or are looking for a Sports Dietitian to help you with training and racing nutrition, learn how you can work with me HERE