Coffee: An Everyday Drink or a Supplement to Enhancement Performance?

“A study looking into caffeine ingestion by boxing athletes concluded that ingestion of caffeine prior to a simulated boxing match has a positive effect on performance in amateur boxers by increasing high-intensity efforts and decreasing breaks during the fight.”

caffeine

If you are like me you cannot start off the day properly until you have had coffee, or should I say a hit of caffeine. Caffeine is classified as a drug used across many cultures around the world and is most well-known for its stimulatory effects. Caffeine is also one of the main ingredients in the ever growing popular supplementation range known as “pre-workouts”, but the question is does it help aid in performance of an athlete?

Caffeine effects the central nervous system acting as adenosine receptor antagonist, resulting in the alteration of the sympathetic nervous system, muscle-motor recruitment, fatigue and pain perception. Specifically, caffeine ingestion leads to rises in intra-cellular calcium release leading to increased contractility of the working muscles, and secondly, in the delay of fatigue by way of the central nervous system adenosine antagonism. So what does this mean?

It means the caffeine can delay the perception of both effort and fatigue that usually occurs during exercise allowing an athlete to work at a given intensity for longer, and potentially increasing performance. For example, a boxer may be able to throw more combos before feeling fatigued and thus increasing work rate. Secondly, increasing contractility of muscle potentially allows an athlete to generate greater power out of a working muscle, who doesn’t want to be able to punch or kick harder?

A study looking into caffeine ingestion by boxing athletes concluded that ingestion of caffeine prior to a simulated boxing match has a positive effect on performance in amateur boxers by increasing high-intensity efforts and decreasing breaks during the fight. Furthermore, caffeine ingestion has been seen to significantly increase anaerobic performance which as mentioned in a previous article, is a prominent energy system used in combat sports. If that still not enough evidence, Olympic combat sport athletes are recommended to intake caffeine for optimal performance, so if you disagree talk to the AIS.  

Dosage: 1-3mg per Kg of Bodyweight

 

 

Jack Doherty – TFD Dietitian

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