Caffeine Boosts Sports Performance
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Coffee can give you more than just your caffeine fix. UK scientists have found that high doses of caffeine directly increase muscle power and endurance during physical activities.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Coventry University, shows increased muscle performance due to caffeine can help humans enhance their energy from everyday activity to running a marathon. Caffeine is not listed by the World Anti-doping Agency as a banned substance at the moment.
Resultant caffeine in blood plasma may act at receptors on skeletal muscle, causing enhanced force production. Scientists already know that ingestion of caffeine can increase athletic performance by stimulating the central nervous system.
"A small increase in performance via caffeine could mean the difference between a gold medal in the Olympics," Coventry University lead researcher, Dr. Rob James, was quoted saying.
The effect of caffeine was tested on both the power output and endurance of the lower leg muscle in mice, under both maximal and sub-maximal activities. Results show that a high dosage of caffeine enhanced power output by 6 percent during both types of activity. This effect in humans is likely to be similar, according to the researchers.
"70 µM caffeine concentrations is the absolute maximum that can normally achieved in the blood plasma of a human; however concentrations of 20-50 µM are not unusual in people with high caffeine intakes," Dr James was quoted saying.
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SOURCE: Society for Experimental Biology meeting, June 2010