Don’t Look Now, But Coffee Might Improve Your Endurance During Exercise

Possible Benefits of Coffee

For many people, coffee is a food group all on its own. It is taken hot in the morning, cold in the afternoon, and again just before bedtime. It is likely the world’s favorite hot beverage that allows millions of people a reason to get out of bed and a helping hand to get through the day and coffee might improve endurance during exercise.

Research recently published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests the coffee can help power through a difficult workout.

Now ingesting caffeine during an endurance work out isn’t anything new. But the use of coffee has previously been frowned upon. Belief that the effectiveness of coffee would be poor. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis review to evaluate how coffee impacts endurance performance both prior to endurance and during.

This study recently published was intended to look at a few different things:

1.) The Effects of Coffee on taken prior to an Endurance Performance

2.) The Effects of Coffee during exertion during an Endurance Performance

3.) Taking information gathered and make available for athletes to make an Informed Decision


Significant improvement was seen in over half of the participants when coffee was given more than 45 minutes before a workout.

The study also showed that around 50% of those involved in Endurance Performance required less exertion to perform.

The results describe a moderate amount of evidence supporting the use of coffee to improve endurance cycling and running and that it may be a safe alternative to anhydrous caffeine.

There’s a perception that coffee won’t give you the same benefits as pure caffeineNew research could mean that athletes could have a cup of coffee versus taking a pill.”  Simon Higgins, lead author said. He added, “This is helpful for athletes because coffee is a naturally occurring compound…

During the study coffee was used for exercises of cycling and/or running.  Approximately 3-9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight increased endurance over 20 percent.  This is about 2-5 cups of coffee.

Medical News Today reported that the national average of coffee is more that 25 oz per day with approximately 10% of drinkers – consuming more than 1,000 mg of coffee daily.

Caffeine is widely considered as the most popular psychoactive substance among people of all age groups and cultural backgrounds.

But thus far, in college racing, caffeine is an illegal substance. The NCAA has stated that urinary caffeine levels above 15 μg/ml could result in a ban. This is over 15 caffeinated soft drinks. But this has been seen before.

The World Anti-Doping Agency currently doesn’t classify caffeine as a prohibited substance.

An abstract of the study is available here.

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