Yes, Caffeine Will Improve Your Athletic Performance. But How Much Is Too Much?

Trending 3 weeks ago

November 15, 2023

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Caffeine is simply a well-studied and effective ergogenic aid. That intends it improves endurance and speed. But earlier you spell pounding power drinks earlier exercising, let’s look astatine really overmuch you need. While caffeine tin amended diversion performance, excessively overmuch whitethorn time off you jittery and dehydrated—not precisely perfect during a activity out. Like almost each things successful life, there’s a equilibrium to achieve. Just capable to assistance capacity but not truthful overmuch that you consciousness for illustration garbage.

What’s nan saccharine spot? How do you present caffeine without going overboard? Here are immoderate master opinions connected adding caffeine to your fittingness regular truthful you tin crush your goals without crashing.

Experts In This Article

  • Celine Thompson, RDN1, registered dietitian nutritionist
  • Mandy Tyler, RD, CSSD, LD, registered dietitian
  • Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, Miami-based registered dietitian nutritionist and National Media Spokesperson for nan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

How caffeine improves diversion performance

Wondering if it’s worthy it to usage caffeine earlier your adjacent workout? Sports dietitian, Mandy Tyler, RD, CSSD, LD, says athletes often devour caffeine anterior to exercising to thief summation alertness, trim feelings of effort, aliases thief pinch training astatine a higher intensity.

In fact, not only is caffeine 1 of nan astir wide utilized ineligible substances by athletes, says Roxana Ehsani, RD, CSSD, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and board-certified sports dietitian, but it besides has proven benefits. “A review recovered that antheral athletes were capable to nutrient much power, were speedier, and were capable to assistance a greater magnitude of weight pinch caffeine," she says.

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What astir females? Well, nan menstrual rhythm tends to propulsion a small wrench into study creation and results, truthful location is overmuch much supportive information for males. However, researchers person recovered that caffeine seems to beryllium a much effective ergogenic assistance successful aerobic activities (i.e., sprints, weight-lifting) successful males than successful females.

Are you a runner aliases cyclist? Caffeine tin thief you push longer. Males and females alike. “Caffeine tin thief astir types of athletes, from endurance to powerfulness athletes,” said Ehsani. She added, “I’d urge caffeine earlier activity for athletes who are undergoing competition—before a crippled for squad athletics athletes specified arsenic shot aliases hoops players aliases earlier a title for endurance-based athletes for illustration marathoners aliases triathletes.”

How overmuch caffeine do you need?

The magnitude of caffeine needed for your training convention aliases title varies based connected your weight. “Generally it’s recommended to devour 3 to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of assemblage weight successful nan hr earlier exercise,” Tyler says.

Find your weight successful kilograms by dividing your weight successful pounds by 2.2. For example, if you measurement 150 lbs, you’d beryllium astir 68 kg. So you’d sprout for ~200 mg caffeine. You tin get this from astir energy drinks, 10–12 ounces of acold brew, aliases a 14–16 oz. coffee aliases Americano. Take note: The magnitude of caffeine successful java is limited connected really it’s brewed.

There are besides caffeine additives for your water, for illustration tablets aliases pre-workout powder. Besides caffeinated beverages, you could effort caffeine supplements for illustration power gels, gums, capsules, aliases chews.

How overmuch caffeine is excessively much?

When it comes to caffeine, Tyler cautions against assuming much is better. “High doses of caffeine—9 mg/kg of assemblage weight aliases more—may origin antagonistic broadside effects, specified arsenic jitters, nausea, aliases anxiety,” she says. She besides warns to double-check nan constituent lists of power drinks, power shots, aliases pre-workout powders arsenic they tin see different stimulants too caffeine for illustration guarana.

Besides emotion jittery and anxious, you whitethorn inhibit your workout if you return successful excessively overmuch caffeine beforehand. “Be mindful that caffeine is simply a diuretic, and excessive amounts tin lead to excessive urination, perchance causing dehydration," says registered dietitian, Celine Thompson, RDN. "To debar overdoing it, limit your regular caffeine intake to 400 milligrams, and beryllium connected nan lookout for signs [of overconsumption] for illustration nervousness, accelerated heartbeat, and trouble sleeping."

When should you devour caffeine?

Your early greeting cup of joe won’t springiness you prize spot aliases endurance if your workout is successful nan precocious afternoon. For caffeine to amended your diversion performance, consumption needs to beryllium timed properly. Ehsani recommends consuming caffeine astir 45 to 60 minutes anterior to activity arsenic it takes astir that agelong for its effects to peak.

You whitethorn besides find it beneficial to return caffeine while you're exercising. It’s been reported that trained cyclists who consumed caffeine successful nan past 3rd of their workout saw an betterment successful performance. If you’re already fueling mid-workout pinch an power gel aliases jelly beans, you could try products that person caffeine added.

Here’s really to start

It’s champion to easiness into caffeine supplementation, particularly if you don’t usually devour caffeine. “If you're caller to caffeine supplements, commencement pinch 1–2 mgs per kilogram of assemblage weight and effort it successful your training first to debar broadside effects for illustration jitters,” Thompson advises.

Have you kicked a caffeine addiction and you don’t want to commencement backmost up? It’s okay. You tin still train difficult and spot results. “While caffeine tin enhance performance, it's not basal for optimal results. Good nutrition and training are nan superior factors,” Thompson says. Caffeine is conscionable an action to springiness you nan separator erstwhile you’re looking to return it up a notch.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to backmost up nan accusation we share. You tin spot america on your wellness journey.

  1. Mielgo-Ayuso, Juan et al. “Effect of Caffeine Supplementation connected Sports Performance Based connected Differences Between Sexes: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2313. 30 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11102313
  2. Grgic J, Grgic I, Pickering C, Schoenfeld BJ, Bishop DJ, Pedisic Z. Wake up and smell nan coffee: caffeine supplementation and workout performance-an umbrella reappraisal of 21 published meta-analyses. Br J Sports Med. 2020;54(11):681-688. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-100278
  3. Mielgo-Ayuso, Juan et al. “Effect of Caffeine Supplementation connected Sports Performance Based connected Differences Between Sexes: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2313. 30 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11102313
  4. Mielgo-Ayuso, Juan et al. “Effect of Caffeine Supplementation connected Sports Performance Based connected Differences Between Sexes: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2313. 30 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11102313
  5. Shen JG, Brooks MB, Cincotta J, Manjourides JD. Establishing a narration betwixt nan effect of caffeine and long of endurance diversion clip proceedings events: A systematic reappraisal and meta-analysis. J Sci Med Sport. 2019;22(2):232-238. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2018.07.022
  6. Jiménez, Sergio L et al. “Caffeinated Drinks and Physical Performance successful Sport: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 13,9 2944. 25 Aug. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13092944
  7. Lowery, Lonnie M et al. “International nine of sports nutrition position stand: java and sports performance.” Journal of nan International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 20,1 (2023): 2237952. doi:10.1080/15502783.2023.2237952
  8. Stecker, Richard A et al. “Timing of ergogenic immunodeficiency and micronutrients connected musculus and workout performance.” Journal of nan International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 16,1 37. 2 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1186/s12970-019-0304-9
  9. Lowery LM, Anderson DE, Scanlon KF, et al. International nine of sports nutrition position stand: java and sports performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2023;20(1):2237952. doi:10.1080/15502783.2023.2237952
  10. Talanian, Jason L, and Lawrence L Spriet. “Low and mean doses of caffeine precocious successful workout amended capacity successful trained cyclists.” Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme vol. 41,8 (2016): 850-5. doi:10.1139/apnm-2016-0053
  11. Guest, N.S., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Nelson, M.T. et al. International nine of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and workout performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 1 (2021).

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