Caffeine? Does it affect performance?
By iNSPIRE Sport
Coffee is a saviour for many when they feel a bit tired or low on energy – especially for athletes. It can give you a much needed boost, but do you truly understand the effects pf caffeine? Does it affect performance? In this blog we discuss both the negative and positive effects of caffeine from a training and competition perspective.
What is caffeine and what products contain it?
Let’s start with the basics – what caffeine is. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is often found in products such as coffee, tea and cacao plants.
It works by stimulating the central nervous system and brain which can help you feel more alert and awake while preventing the onset of tiredness. According to data, 80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product each day. Are you one of those people?
Negative side effects
Let’s start with the bad…. caffeine and products that contain it, such as coffee, are relatively safe and non-harmful. However, just like anything else, it can become detrimental for you when taken out of moderation – you can even become addicted and dependent on it.
Negative side effects of too much caffeine can include anxiety, sleep disruption/insomnia, digestive issues, high blood pressure and so on.
Read here to better understand the consumption of caffeine and how much may be too much for yourself.
Positive effects of caffeine
Some studies have focused on the correlation between athletic performance and caffeine intake. Below is a direct quote from Harvard Health regarding such benefits;
“Many studies have found that a jolt of caffeine can improve athletic endurance and reduce fatigue. The amounts often studied range from about 225 mg to 600 mg, taken about an hour beforehand. Yet, much of the research involves high-level athletes, and the type of exercise tends to vary, says Dr. Juraschek.”
A Havard study published in 2015 even found that moderate drinking of coffee is associated with a lower risk of early death. Interesting, right?
It seems that as long as you are not over consuming caffeine, it completely comes down to personal preference and should not have any serious side effects.
Be mindful that coffee or caffeine should not be a substitute for sleep and rest… There is no better way to recover and be ready for a hard training session or competition than a good night’s sleep. Read our blog 6 Tips Everyone Needs For a Better Night’s Sleep if you are struggling to get sufficient sleep.