A cup of coffee is not only the most appealing part of the morning routine but also can improve running performance. For starters caffeine has the ability to give you an energy boost and help reduce pain and fatigue.
Caffeine is also known to increase your heart rate and blood flow to your muscles. If you’re a beginner or a runner prone to cramps caffeine may be your answer.
However, make sure you don’t overdo it. Having too much caffeine can derail your best efforts. It can also wreak havoc on your digestion and can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal upset.
If you’re looking for caffeine for a running solution it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor first. Before embarking on caffeine for the running plan consider your diet and training schedule.
To know more about caffeine and its impact on your running performance continue reading.
Does Coffee and Running Mix?
When it comes to coffee and running, there are several pros and cons to consider. Some people have found that a cup of coffee before a workout boosts energy and increases mental focus.
Coffee can also reduce muscle pain especially during a workout. It may even lower delayed-onset muscle soreness. Many endurance athletes use caffeine supplements on race day. The World Anti-Doping Agency has not banned these products but some athletes have experienced unpleasant side effects.
Caffeine is a mild diuretic. This means that drinking it before a run can increase your urination and frequency. So you should avoid consuming large amounts of coffee before a long-distance run.
However, if you enjoy coffee it’s a good idea to experiment with it before a training run. Doing so will let you know whether you tolerate it. If you do you can continue with your normal routine.
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine or caffeine chlorogenic acid is found in many natural sources. When taken orally caffeine is absorbed through the gut and into the bloodstream. It then travels to the liver where it is metabolized. Then it travels through the bloodstream to reach the brain where it acts as a stimulant.
Caffeine increases the release of dopamine the neurotransmitter that helps us feel good and focus. It also increases our levels of adrenaline which increases heart rate and performance.
When adenosine builds up in the body it causes us to feel tired and sleepy. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine and makes us more alert.
Caffeine works by binding to adenosine receptors which are located in the brain. The binding process is called competitive inhibition. This prevents the adenosine receptors from telling the brain that you’re tired.
How Can Caffeine Help Improve Your Running Performance?
It might be a surprise to some that drinking coffee before a run can improve your performance. The caffeine in coffee has some performance-enhancing properties such as boosting your mental alertness.
Caffeine is a powerful ergogenic aid for athletes. It enhances performance in both high-intensity and endurance events. Studies have shown that caffeine can reduce fatigue improve speed and boost endurance.
One study found that runners who consumed caffeine reduced post-workout muscle soreness. Another found that runners who consumed coffee prior to a race had an increased time for the “finishing burst.”
Although coffee does have some benefits it is important to remember that too much coffee can have a negative impact on your running performance. As a result, you might want to keep your coffee consumption to a minimum.
There are a number of reasons for this the most notable of which is that too much caffeine can cause adverse effects such as dizziness and jitteriness. If you are unsure about the potential risks of caffeine it’s always best to seek advice from your physician before taking this particular supplement.
Things to Watch Out For When Using Caffeine
As you can imagine if you’re drinking coffee that’s going to have a big effect on your performance. It can be a good idea to drink a small cup of coffee a half hour before your race and you can add water afterward. However, there are some issues to watch out for.
Caffeine can have a diuretic effect on your body which means that it will make you urinate more. This might increase the risk of dehydration. Although a small amount of dehydration is normal it can have a negative impact on your mental and physical performance. For example, you may feel tired and have poor concentration.
A pre-run cup of coffee or two may not be the answer to your GI woes. In fact it could lead to more trips to the bathroom which can affect your running performance. If you already have GI issues it is best to avoid caffeine. It will make your condition worse.
Using the Correct Caffeine Dosage to Help You Run Fast
If you’re looking for ways to increase your running performance caffeine is one of the best options. Caffeine can boost your performance by up to 10 seconds. However you should always consider how much caffeine you should consume.
A moderate dose of caffeine is ideal for most people. This dose is usually between 1.4 and 2.7 mg per pound of body weight. You should take it about 30-60 minutes before a workout. Up to 400 mg of caffeine a day is a safe dosage for adults.
Using the correct caffeine dosage can improve your running performance. Ideally you should start with a low dose to assess your tolerance. You can choose from a number of different forms of caffeine from coffee to caffeinated chewing gums.
Caffeine has been studied for many years as a performance-enhancing drug. Although it may provide a boost to runners it also has some negative side effects. Among the worst side effects of caffeine is gastrointestinal upset. Coffee might cause an upset stomach or diarrhea and if consumed on an empty stomach it can lead to jitteriness. So make sure you consult an expert before using caffeine to improve your running performance.