Research has long proposed caffeine as an effective exercise stimulant and ergogenic aid. By far the most widely used stimulant in the world, caffeine is known for its enhancements in energy and focus as well as its ability to reduce an individual’s perception of fatigue. This makes caffeine a very viable option for all athletes, helping to increase their performance. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at ‘the use of energy drinks in sport: perceived ergogenicity and side effects in male and female athletes’. The Results: The study revealed that the caffeinated energy drink managed to increase perceived muscle power during the training session when compared to the placebo, with both males and females experiencing improvements in their performance. Athletes ran further at higher intensities in team competitions. Basketball players increased jump height, Climbers and those training saw increases in muscle force and power, Sprint swimmers saw increases in swimming speed, Hit force and accuracy increased for volleyball players, Total number of points won increased for tennis players. The questionnaire revealed that participants had feelings of increased strength, power and resistance when using the caffeine drink in comparison to the placebo drink. With the ability to control your caffeine intake, it gives each user the ability to assess how much caffeine they need in order to produce an ergogenic effect. Something that is not viable when consuming energy drinks containing caffeine. Why this is so critical is because the specific dose of caffeine for improving performance is very dependent on your history of caffeine use and body weight. Researchers have identified an intake of somewhere between 3-9mg/kg of body weight prior to exercise increases performance during prolonged endurance exercise and short-term intense exercise.
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