Adding to the perpetual discussion regarding whether or not caffeine contributes to overall athletic performance, the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) recently released a new set of findings based on a synopsis of past studies.
The umbrella review covered 300 primary studies with more than 4,800 participants across 11 analyses. Through its review, the BJSM concluded that, “caffeine is ergogenic for different components of exercise performance including aerobic endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, power, jumping performance and exercise speed. (BJSM)
How much impact can caffeine have? “Those who respond most strongly to caffeine might see improvements of around 16%, but this is unusual. For the average person, improvements will likely be between about 2% and 6%,” says the BJSM.
Don’t go overboard, downing several cups of your typical morning brew, however. The majority of the studies involved in this umbrella review used caffeine anhydrous, which is a highly-concentrated caffeine powder.
But, as we published back in 2015, caffeine provides Vitamin B to help produce energy, Vitamin B5 to help the body use fats and proteins, and Manganese which helps control blood sugar. It also contains Magnesium which help keep blood pressure even, Potassium which is essential to your heart and kidneys, and Niacin that can help cholesterol levels.
Coffee provides a boost to the brain by temporarily increasing focus and concentration. This can lead to increased learning. It can also help with fitness for those who work out. There are many risks associated with taking pre workout and fat burners, but those who are looking for a more natural way to have a burst of energy can drink a shot of espresso or just have a coffee for a natural boost. Caffeine can increase stamina during practice and can increase adrenaline which can lead to a better practice. (SwimSwam 2015)
Of note, the substance has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Monitoring List for some time now. Caffeine was added to WADA’s monitoring program for 2017 so experts could ‘study whether athletes are using the substance with the intent of enhancing performance.’ It remains on the 2019 edition of the monitoring program list.
You can read the entire BJSM results here.