Victorian Institute of Sport

Nutrition Tip | Caffeine – can it really improve my performance?

Monday, 04 June 2018

Caffeine is one of the most commonly consumed ergogenic (performance enhancing) substances in society. A morning coffee is a must for many before they can function optimally. Research shows that the main benefits of caffeine for athletes appears to come from its ability to influence the central nervous system and result in a reduced perception of effect during exercise. Basically, we are able to do more before we feel tired.

So which types of sports can derive benefit from caffeine?

Team or intermittent sports

Endurance sports

High intensity and short duration sports

Evidence shows that 1-3mg caffeine per kg body weight can be sufficient to improve performance. However, it is suggested you liaise with your dietitian to work out a personalised regimen before jumping on the band wagon as there some negative symptoms which can occur such a poor sleep, gut disturbances and increased heart rate.  Remember to always practice in training first.

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