I thought y’all might find this interesting bit of news from Newsmax.
Stopping to smell the coffee, and to enjoy a cup of it, before your morning workout might do more than just get your juices flowing. It might keep you going for reasons you haven’t even considered.
As a former competitive cyclist, University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Robert Motl routinely met his teammates at a coffee shop to fuel up on caffeine before long-distance training rides.
“The notion was that caffeine was helping us train harder . . . to push ourselves a little harder,” he said.
The cyclists didn’t know why it helped, they just knew it was effective.
“I think intuitively a lot of people are taking caffeine before a workout and they don’t realize the actual benefit they’re experiencing. That is, they’re experiencing less pain during the workout,” Motl said.
It is becoming increasingly common for athletes to consume a variety of substances that include caffeine before competing, motivated by “the notion that it will help you metabolize fat more readily.”
“That research isn’t actually very compelling,” Motl said. “What’s going on in my mind is . . . people are doing it for that reason, but they actually take that substance that has caffeine and they can push themselves harder. It doesn’t hurt as much.”
The professor has been investigating the relationship between caffeine and physical activity since taking a slight detour during his doctoral-student days, when his work focused on exploring possible links between caffeine intake, spinal reflexes, and physical activity.
Seven years later, with several studies considering the relationship between physical activity and caffeine behind him, Motl has a much better understanding of why that cuppa joe he used to consume before distance training and competing enhanced his cycling ability.
Early in his research, he became aware that “caffeine works on the adenosine neuromodulatory system in the brain and spinal cord, and this system is heavily involved in nociception and pain processing.” Since Motl knew caffeine blocks adenosine from working, he speculated that it could reduce pain.
A number of his studies support that conclusion, including investigations considering such variables as exercise intensity, dose of caffeine, anxiety sensitivity and gender.
Motl’s latest published study on the effects of caffeine on pain during exercise appears in the April edition of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
“This study looks at the effects of caffeine on muscle pain during high-intensity exercise as a function of habitual caffeine use,” he said. “No one has examined that before. What we saw is something we didn’t expect: caffeine-naïve individuals and habitual users have the same amount of reduction in pain during exercise after caffeine (consumption).”
The research could prove encouraging for a range of people, including the average person who wants to become more physically active to realize the health benefits.
I thought y’all might find that interesting. 🙂
God bless and veritas supra omnis!