Take two cups of coffee and call me when you hit a home run! Caffeine, that little magic 'pick-me-up' in coffee, has long been the subject of controversy. However, volumes of research have shown that caffeine improves stamina.
Caffeine has been removed from the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Likewise, it is no longer banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Caffeine is now considered a legal performance enhancer.
What is Caffeine?
It is a stimulant component of certain plants, such as coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans and kola nuts. Caffeine is a common ingredient in cold meds, diet pills and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
Some athletes take caffeine for increased awareness, clarity and heightened endurance. Medical researchers have found that it releases stored calcium from muscles, which can provide the athlete with that desirable "second wind" and/or improve speed.
What Physical Benefits do Athletes Get from Caffeine?
It not only improves physical stamina, it is believed to boost mental performance. Caffeine seems to perform brilliantly where long term resilience is necessary in sports such as running, cycling etc.
Whether or not caffeine is an ergogenic aid (enhancer of physical performance and stamina) is not totally definitive. Research has not found a specific rationalization for mechanisms causing ergogenic effects.
Small studies have resulted in positive outcomes for athletes who exercise to the point of exhaustion. Other studies found that caffeine barely affects athletes relying on a fast explosion of energy, such as swimmers. All in all, is known to lessen fatigue.
So, while the totality of caffeine's benefits is undetermined, it is now recognized as a performance enhancer.
Because caffeine is technically a drug, it will react differently in each individual.
What Mental Benefits do Athletes Get from Caffeine?
Caffeine reaches the brain and acts positively on brain cells that heighten concentration and free...