It is no secret that caffeine works as a stimulant for the body, but at the same time it is a substance that is not considered dopant for performance. So, does it help us or not when we exercise? The answer is that depending on the type of physical activity and the specific amount consumed, but it is true that caffeine can have a positive effect on people. 💃
"Caffeine can influence your exercise routine by affecting your central nervous system," explained Dr. Zoe Williams in a BBC series show "Trust me, I'm a doctor" (Trust me, I'm a doctor).
"When you exercise your body produces a chemical called adenosine, which makes you feel tired by functioning as an energy regulator," says Williams, who was also a high-level sportsman.
"Caffeine does block the adenosine receptors in your nerves, so the brain perceives less pain and fatigue, and that translates to the person being able to take more time."
That means that caffeine is often used in particular for long-lasting exercises that require resistance.
The fashion of consuming caffeine has spread to other disciplines in recent years, but the researchers clarify that in most cases it does not end up producing the desired effect by not taking into account the amount or how it is ingested.
"If you're interested in running for a long time or cycling many kilometers, caffeine can help you, but only if you consume the right amount," Williams warned.
"There is a scientific claim, very little known, that there is an optimal amount of caffeine for the body that is three milligrams per kilogram of body weight."
The problem is to determine exactly how much is consumed in a cup of coffee, for example.
"For an average person, whether male or female, that translates between one and two cups of filtered coffee," said the BBC presenter, adding that there are other ways to obtain the substance such as tea, cola, chocolate or sports drinks.
"But caffeine is rarely mentioned on labels, so calculating the amount in these products is more difficult," he warned.
Caffeine is expected to work for a few hours after consumption, but it is crucial that you take at least one hour before physical activity to get your most benefit. 💡 💡 💡
A balance difficult to establish, said Dr. Williams, although there are products that have recently come to market that allow you more control over the exact amount and timing of intake, such as caffeine gum.
Always keeping in mind that for people who go out to run or ride a bike recreationally the important thing is never to exceed the recommended amount.
I hope you like it, I give you a drink 🍸