Almost everyone knows that caffeine is a stimulant substance in coffee. Considering the properties of caffeine, it has become a matter of curiosity how it will affect exercise. Some experts claim that exercise performance will change in a positive way thanks to caffeine. They try to prove this in different ways. Some experts state that caffeine has no effect at this point. Which of these views do you think is correct? Does caffeine really increase your exercise performance?
Effect of Caffeine on Exercise Performance
Different studies have been conducted on how caffeine affects exercise, and different results have been obtained. However, you should know that what has been achieved is extremely striking. At this point, one of the things to be considered is that caffeine should not be mixed with coffee.
Studies show that caffeine intake increases exercise performance by 2% to 16%. These rates are extremely high. Especially a 16% performance increase is a very serious figure for athletes. However, researchers state that this rate is rarely seen and the average performance increase is in the range of 6-8%. It can be said that these numbers are also very important. So how does caffeine have this effect? At this point, experts have two different theories. Stating that these have not yet been fully proven, let's move on to the theories.
When athletes who exercise for a while begin to tire, a chemical called adenosine  binds to receptors in the brain. This receptor stimulates the brain, thus creating a feeling of tiredness. As a result, the movements of the muscles slow down.
Caffeine is very similar in structure to a chemical called adenosine. Caffeine consumed before exercise binds to receptors in the brain and has the opposite effect of the chemical adenosine. Thus, athletes become much more vigorous and even if they get tired, they start to feel this later.
During the exercises, the muscles obtain the necessary energy by burning glycogens known as glucose stores. When the glycogens are exhausted, the muscles remain without energy and thus a state of fatigue occurs. Our bodies can normally use fats to generate energy. However, burning fat is a bit more difficult. Also, a lot of energy is needed during exercise and the fat remains dysfunctional. [2nd]
Thanks to caffeine, fats can be burned much more easily. In this way, muscles turn to fat first for energy needs. Thanks to this situation, the muscles not only meet their long-term energy they need but also have the opportunity to protect their glycogen stores. All this provides an increase in exercise performance.
How Much Caffeine Consumption Should Be For Performance Increase?
Athletes need an average of 280-430 mg of caffeine for increased performance in exercise. If these numbers seem meaningless to you, let's give some more concrete examples. There is an average of 100-160 mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee. This figure differs depending on the type of coffee consumed.
Another important issue that is curious is when to drink coffee. It can be said that the effect of caffeine is seen immediately after drinking coffee. However, in order to reflect this on exercise performance, athletes should drink their coffee 2-3 hours before training. There were opinions that regular coffee drinkers needed to drink an extra cup to see this effect. It was believed that these people were constantly taking caffeine, their bodies getting used to the substance, and the effect of caffeine was also reduced. However, research has shown that there is no such thing as the body getting used to caffeine.
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