Does Caffeine Really Boost Endurance?

Right after we get out of bed in the morning, or perhaps in the middle of the day when we hit an afternoon slump, some of us choose to reach out for a caffeinated pick-me-up – be it coffee or tea. After all, caffeine has the ability to perk us up, especially when we’re feeling tired or lethargic.

Apart from having the power to awaken your senses, did you know that caffeine can also play a part in boosting your endurance? Well, the next time you feel like having that cup of coffee or tea before hitting the gym, we say go for it! Of course, you have to make sure that you didn’t consume too much caffeine before that pre-workout coffee or tea, because too much caffeine might actually work against you. This is because when you have too much caffeine in your system, you could potentially end up suffering from headaches, muscle spasms and/or heartburn.

However, if you proceed with caution and utilize caffeine correctly, you can get the most out of your workouts! Want to find out more? Then read on! Today, Evolve Daily shares 4 Ways Caffeine Boosts Endurance:

1) It helps you conserve energy over long periods of time

The spinning back elbow has the power to potentially knock out your opponent.

The spinning back elbow has the power to potentially knock out your opponent.

According to a study, athletes who consumed caffeine before doing a 10km cycling time trial had an increased performance of 0.3 – 2% (around 4 – 24 seconds improvement) as compared to the same 10km trial where they consumed a placebo. It was also reported that these athletes mentioned they felt better when they had the caffeine, rather than the placebo, prior to the trial.

At this point, you might be wondering how caffeine managed to improve their performance. Basically your body converts glycogen – a type of sugar you get from food – into energy, whenever you work out. So once your glycogen stores get depleted during a long, intense training session, you’ll feel exhausted and as a result, not be able to last as long as you wish to. However, caffeine can significantly reduce glycogen depletion by enabling your body to use more fat as fuel. Hence, helping you to conserve energy for extended periods of time while melting away fat! As sports – especially those that require endurance – generally deplete large amounts of glycogen, such activities benefit the most from caffeine.

 

2) It enables you to exert more force over greater periods

The cross choke is one of the most basic and effective submissions in BJJ.

The cross choke is one of the most basic and effective submissions in BJJ.

Sometimes we give our 100% at the start of our workout, and then when we get tired, we go slightly (or maybe a lot) lighter. However, this would not do us any good in the long run! Apart from learning to push ourselves so we get tougher physically and mentally, caffeine can also play a part in giving a much-needed endurance boost – especially during shorter bouts of anaerobic exercises. Also, you’d be able to go at 100% for a longer period of time as caffeine has the potential to enhance the strength of your muscle contraction.

 

3) It reduces feelings of pain and exhaustion

Strength and conditioning is an important aspect of every martial artist's training.

Strength and conditioning is an important aspect of every martial artist’s training.

Apart from getting tired, we sometimes slow down during an intense training session when we feel the burn in our muscles. Fortunately, caffeine can help decrease the perception of pain, especially when taken before strenuous physical activity.

A study has shown that people who consumed caffeine experienced a lower level of anxiety associated with intense exercise – which may account for a lower perception of pain. As a result, they were able to power through intense exercises more easily than their counterparts who didn’t consume any caffeine.

 

4) It can enhance recovery after your workouts

Multiple-time WBC World Champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam teaches at Evolve MMA.

Multiple-time WBC World Champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam teaches at Evolve MMA.

Does your body take a long time to recover after exercise? Well, you can boost the recovery process with some caffeine! Research has shown that muscle glycogen increased by 66% when a carbohydrate drink with caffeine content was ingested, as compared to a pure carbohydrate drink. This increase in muscle glycogen is useful when it comes to promoting recovery, so you can make your next workout count!

 

Whether you’re in need of a physical or mental boost, caffeine is a good way to enhance your performance and push through high intensity workouts. So why not reach out for some caffeine before your next gym session? Remember, a little bit can go a long way, so don’t chug an entire liter of coffee or tea before training!

Psst! Besides caffeine, here are some other ways you can boost your endurance. Now go forth and get the most out of every workout!

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