ACSM's Sports Medicine Bulletin this month published their newest research again proclaiming that caffeine can give an athlete quite a boost when it comes to endurance performance. The article points out that the news isn't shocking, nor is it interesting and new. The researchers are trying to narrow down as to why caffeine promotes improved performance. Here's what they came up with:
"1) alternations in fat metabolism leading to glycogen sparing; 2) direct actions on skeletal muscle leading to increased force production, perhaps though alterations in calcium release from sarcoplasmic reticulum; 3) central and/or peripheral nervous system actions leading to increased skeletal muscle force production; and 4) reductions in perceptions of muscle pain and sense of effort."
That may seem like a bunch of gibberish to you but let me translate. Caffeine may enhance performance, based on these hypotheses: making energy more readily available, increasing metabolism, faster and perhaps more efficient brain to body reactions, and the caffeine buzz that increases focus thus making exercise seem effortless.
So drink that cup of Joe this morning, and don't try to sneak any of those weird sugars or creams into your coffee.