Ever since I noticed my sister drinking coffee before a race, the thought has always been in the back of my mind to try doing that too. I’ve never been a coffee fan, but just recently I’ve been able to tolerate it as long as I add almond milk and some sweetener. Almost everyone I know drinks coffee to get them through the day and although I’m starting to grow a liking for it, it isn’t something I want to have to have to rely on. I’d rather just be able to enjoy it when I want and possible before a race. I’m definitely going to get my sisters thoughts on the idea and in the meantime, I did some reasearch of my own.
I found an interesting article titled The Caffeinated Runner that talks about the effect that caffeine has on your body and how some endurance athletes use it to enhance performance. It explains exactly how it works by saying
It appears caffeine enhances performance in shorter events by stimulating the nervous system in ways that enable the muscles to contract faster and more efficiently. In longer events, caffeine delays fatigue by reducing the athlete’s perception of effort. Specifically, it increases the concentration of hormone-like substances in the brain called ß-endorphins during exercise. The endorphins affect mood state, reduce perception of pain, and create a sense of well-being.
Interesting, huh? Reading this article definitely made me want to try out this theory. I would have to make sure I stay hydrated with water though!
Are you a coffee addict? Have you ever had caffeine to try to enhance physical performance?