SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - EuropeUS edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news

 

 

Caffeine taken during training and even in small doses may boost sports performance: Researcher

By Anna Bonar+

24-Jul-2014
Last updated on 25-Jul-2014 at 11:23 GMT2014-07-25T11:23:15Z

Traditionally athletes were told to take caffeine before exercising, but new evidence shows brain is more susceptible to caffeine when fatigued, says sports performance nutritionist.
Traditionally athletes were told to take caffeine before exercising, but new evidence shows brain is more susceptible to caffeine when fatigued, says sports performance nutritionist.
Loading the player...

Already one of the most widely-used stimulants in sport, recent research suggests there may be greater scope for caffeine to be used in a wider range of sports as well as during exercise, says sports nutrition researcher and consultant in elite sport.

The research tested how to use caffeine to obtain the best results in sports performance. It was conducted across a range of sports and found that even small doses of caffeine (1.5 mg/kg) could improve the performance, according to Sophie Killer, a doctoral researcher in exercise metabolism and performance nutrition at Loughborough University.

In endurance exercise it was shown that caffeine improved the ability to exercise for a prolonged period of time. In high intensity sports such as swimming or rowing, lasting between 1-60 minutes, performance also improved with the use of caffeine.

Although team sports were harder to test, caffeine was believed to help when fatigue was a limiting factor. Even the strength-based sports could benefit from caffeine use, but only if there was an endurance component.

Coffee on the run

Contrary to the traditional view, the research showed that caffeine did not have to be taken before exercise.

“Traditionally we used to ask athletes to take it before exercising, however there is some new evidence showing that as you become more fatigued the brain is more susceptible to the effect of caffeine so actually there might be a benefit in delaying the caffeine intake,” said Killer, who apart from being a researcher was also a performance nutritionist in elite and professional sport.

“We typically recommend caffeine to be taken anywhere between half an hour to an hour before exercise. However, it’s highly individual so we tend to ask athletes to experiment in training before using it in the competition environment, ” she added.

Too much of a good thing

Despite a large choice of products containing caffeine which could be used to improve sports performance, Killer said format did not matter.

“Really there is no reason why coffee shouldn’t be as effective as a caffeine pill. It’s just a personal preference and the practicality of taking the caffeine,” said Killer.

“The only problem with using natural caffeine sources such as coffee, it is difficult to know the exact dose of caffeine that is present. If you know exactly how much caffeine you want your athlete to be consuming it is difficult to deliver it in coffee,” she added.

Although overdosing on caffeine was very rare in sport, Killer said it was possible and could lead to adverse reactions such as anxiety and the shakes.

Sports Nutrition 2014

Sports Nutrition 2014 (#SportsNutrition14) explores the market and future opportunities for the sports nutrition industry, valued at more than $30bn (€22bn) globally.

This free-to-attend one-day online event offers valuable insights and presentations on everything from market opportunities to formulation, regulatory challenges and strategies for brand success.

Click here for more ...

 

Related products

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

A paradigm shift is needed to force delicate women’s health issues like vaginal infections...

FiE 2015: Our best bits

FiE 2015: Our best bits

Our teams of journalists were out in force at Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) last...

New tech on EFSA’s horizon: Crowdsourcing and cyber assistants

New tech on EFSA’s horizon: Crowdsourcing and cyber assistants

New technology like crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence computers is the future of risk assessment,...

EFSA’s Bernhard Url: Science should reserve one private room for open debate

EFSA’s Bernhard Url: Science should reserve one private room for open debate

Since taking the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) throne last summer, Dr Bernhard Url has become...

Seadragon sets out to breathe fire into Kiwi fish oil

Seadragon sets out to breathe fire into Kiwi fish oil

The town of Nelson will welcome New Zealand's first omega-3 fish oil processing plant...

The taste test: How do you make a probiotic drink taste good?

The taste test: How do you make a probiotic drink taste good?

Probiotic fruit drinks face different challenges to their dairy counterparts - but both face...

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

Professor Gregor Reid

Chair , University of Western Ontario & Human Microbiology and...

Germvangelist set to shake Probiota with holistic shout

Germvangelist set to shake Probiota with holistic shout

Jason Tetro

Researcher, author, The Germ Guy

Creepy proteins will be hot

New proteins are creeping on trend

Alternative proteins are a “hot area” of interest and products such as sandwich spreads...

Dairy ingredients giant on Indonesia: ‘A lot of opportunities here’

Dairy ingredients giant on Indonesia: ‘A lot of opportunities here’

Jake Riddle

General manager, Kerry Asia Pacific

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Dr David Kennedy

director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre ,...

The key to securing a sustainable omega-3 supply

Carrot vs. stick: What’s the key to securing a sustainable omega-3 supply?

With around 20-25% of global wild caught fish used for fish meal and fish...

GOED on doubling EFSA’s omega-3 recommendation

GOED on doubling EFSA’s omega-3 recommendation

Adam Ismail

Executive director , Global Organisation for EPA and DHA Omega-3s...

Protein chocolate set for mass-market after Mars & Snickers launches?

Mass-market future for protein chocolate after Mars and Snickers launches?

Protein experts at leading nutraceutical trade fair Vitafoods consider if protein chocolate has mainstream...

'It's still an attractive market': How are companies overcoming political instability in Turkey?

'It's still an attractive market': How are companies overcoming political instability in Turkey?

At the crossroads of east and west, Turkey offers huge promise but given the...

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

Rhythm Health believes its coconut-based kefir beverages and snacks can be the ‘natural successor’...

Video: Snacking can be a force for good, says nutrition specialist

Video: Snacking can be a force for good, says Campden BRI nutrition specialist

Food developers, manufacturers and ingredients suppliers gathered in Birmingham, UK, last month for a...

Consumers willing to pay more for bioavailability enhancements, consultant says

Consumers willing to pay more for bioavailability enhancements, consultant says

There is an opportunity for companies to use bioavailability enhancement to differentiate their products,...

What does it take to give a niche ingredient superfood staying power? A re-think of the supply chain

What does it take to give a niche ingredient superfood staying power? A re-think of the supply chain

What does it take to give a niche ingredient sustained consumer demand rather than...