JAVA Boost!

JAVA Boost!

    by -
    1483

    Caffeine is a substance found naturally in a variety of plants and is regularly consumed by more than 90% of humans. Caffeine is also found in several sports foods, drinks and energy gels – but does it really help to enhance your running performance?

    The answer is YES:

    • Caffeine appears to enhance the performance of middle and long distance running events in doses as low as 1-3mg/kg body weight. Small doses like this can be found in everyday foods and drinks e.g. coffee, coke, chocolate and some energy gels.
    • Larger doses of caffeine does not seem to be more effective in enhancing running performance and may have a negative effect for example in staged multi-day events where it may influence much needed sleep.
    • Caffeine is not a diuretic as previously believed. Moderate doses of caffeine do not have a significant effect on the overall hydration status of habitual caffeine users. Also, caffeine-containing drinks provide a significant source of fluids to many runners.
    • It is now believed that the performance benefit from consuming caffeine during an endurance event is achieved by central nervous system effects. The perception of fatigue is reduced and the runner is able to maintain running pace for a longer period of time.

    How to take caffeine to gain benefit:

    • Consume 1-3mg/kg (or 50-200mg) of caffeine at a variety of times e.g. before and throughout the race, or towards the end of the race when you get fatigued.
    • Coffee may not be the ideal source for supplementation due to the unpredictability and variability of caffeine content in coffee. It also contains other chemicals that may negate the benefits. Therefore use other sources (see table)

    Food

    Serving size

    Caffeine (mg)

    Espresso ¼ cup 100
    Brewed Coffee 1 cup 80-135 or more
    Instant Coffee 1 cup avg 60 (12-169)
    Tea 1 cup avg 27 (9-51)
    Hot Chocolate 1 cup 5-10
    Milk Chocolate Bar 60g 5-15
    Coke 1 can 30-44
    Hammer Gel (with caffeine) 33g sachet 25-50 (check label)
    Powerbar Gel (with caffeine) 40 sachet 25

    **Although caffeine may enhance running performance in most runners, some may be non-respondent to caffeine. It is always best to test the use of caffeine in training before using the tactic in races.

    Jeanne-Marié Louw
    Jeanne-Marié is a registered dietician who recently completed her International Olympic Committee diploma in Sports Nutrition. She has extensive and international experience in nutrition for diabetes and has a passionate interest in sports nutrition. She is an avid trail runner herself and enjoys other sports including squash and swimming. She lives the active, healthy life she preaches about and a JUST DO IT motto when challenged. One day I am running the DODO Trail Trail Running is relaxing and an escape from the city buzz into nature. It adds “challenge” to my running. Its all about the hard work and then the reward of a beautiful view at the end. Trail runners share a zest for life. I JUST LOVE IT!

    SIMILAR ARTICLES

    3340

    4209