Performance Enhancer: Drinking Coffee May Improve Aerobic Ability, Study Finds

COVENTRY, England — Need an extra boost to improve your running or cycling time? A recent study shows that your morning cup of coffee may also put an extra spring in your step at the gym.

Researchers from Coventry University in England wanted to know if caffeine ingestion can increase peoples’ speed, and if the extra jolt of energy affects men and women differently. For the study, the authors recruited 38 adults, equally split between men and women, and divided them into three groups. One group drank regular coffee, a second group drank a coffee-flavored placebo drink, and the third group served as a control and didn’t drink any beverages.

On the first day of testing, each of the participants completed a five-kilometer cycle on an exercise bike without consuming any beverages beforehand. This standard test allows researchers to record a baseline cycle time for each participant. The following day, the participants consumed their designated beverages an hour prior to completing the five-kilometer cycle. Each rider took a break between drinking their beverages and performing the cycling test to allow the caffeine to metabolize.

The results showed that participants in the coffee group completed their cycle faster than participants in the placebo and control groups. Researchers also reported that the observed effect of coffee on cycling performance is similar between men and women.

This study shows that coffee is an effective way to get a surge of caffeine that can improve performance in sports. More research needs to be conducted to identify how caffeine causes this increase in sports performance, but this study adds to the large body of research on the positive effects of coffee on sports performance.

Of course, it’s always wise to consult a physician before making any changes to your regular dietary and workout routine.

The study is published in Nutrients.

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