Caffeine equates to coffee for many of us. Actually, caffeine is a stimulant that is present in leaves, nuts and seeds of plants. Athletes consume caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, supplements or caffeinated sports products. The use of caffeine is increasing in the field of sports as it helps improve performance and different sports drinks and supplements are manufactured with caffeine as their major ingredient.
The ultimate way in which caffeine improves performance is because of its influence on the central nervous system which makes an individual feel that he/she has utilized less effort, exercising has become easier and also fatigue levels are way below normal. Earlier, it was believed that caffeine increases the use of fat during exercise and spares glycogen, but now these are not trusted as the major contributors of performance enhancement.
What Kind of Sports Activities Prefer Caffeine Intake?
People involved in endurance sports, team or intermittent sports and those involved in high intensity, short duration sports benefit maximum from caffeine consumption.
Earlier, recommendations for caffeine consumption was on the higher range (6+ mg caffeine/kg body weight), but recent research indicate that lower levels can provide the same effective result with minimal side effects. In general, 1-3 mg caffeine per kg body weight is sufficient to improve performance.
It is crucial to maintain caffeine levels within recommended ranges as increased levels of caffeine intake can cause decrease in performance via: