Anyone who feels tired and tired likes to drink a coffee. The caffeine contained in the coffee awakens and stimulates the metabolism. Now, an Australian study found that consuming caffeinated coffee can also improve recovery after a strenuous exercise session.
Does coffee make any sense after exercise?
Who thinks, the first likely fall to the usual suspects as Gatorade or Powerade. Maybe you think of a protein shake, a fruit juice spritzer or a non-alcoholic beer. In all likelihood, hardly anyone has coffee on the list. The caffeinated hot drink for athletes can fulfill an important function.
Caffeine after exercise and training helps to boost glycogen stores
As researchers at the Australian Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have found out in Bundoora, caffeine helps maintain glycogen stores after exercise. Especially after a strenuous endurance training these are empty in the body or at least reduced. Before you start exercising again, these energy stores must first be refilled. After all, a car does not drive with an empty tank.
The energy for the stores gets the body from the food. It can be accelerated with various measures, the filling of energy storage. This includes, for example. Carbohydrate-rich foods, fruit juices or isotonic sports drinks are also recommended. Or just coffee. As the Australian researchers report, the amount of caffeine from around 5-6 cups of coffee helps accelerate the recovery of glycogen.
Glycogen is a multiple sugar that is vital for the body. Without glycogen, our muscles could not contract. Therefore, we consume a lot of glycogen during sports. This must first be formed again, so that the memory before the next load are filled again. The harder the training, the more glycogen is consumed and the longer it takes to re-produce enough and the stores are filled again. As the Australian scientists report, the consumption of coffee accelerates the production of glycogen by up to 66%.
Study: Increase in performance of "caffeine cyclists"
In their study, the Australian researchers tested 7 good to very many times. Before the amateur sportsmen pedaled, however, the glycogen stores had to be emptied first. For this they had to train to exhaustion on the ergometer. Then they were given a meal that contained very few carbohydrates. However, as the body was able to produce glycogen, researchers could assume that the stores were emptied before the first proper test.
On the following day, the subjects first trained again to exhaustion on the bicycle ergometer. Then some got a drink with a high carbohydrate content, the others got the drink into which about 5-6 cups of coffee had been added. Subsequently, the researchers observed the glycogen level of athletes.
About one hour after the test, both groups did not differ in terms of glycogen level. But that changed after about 4 hours. Here the positive effect of coffee became clear. The caffeine cyclists had a significantly higher level of glycogen in the body compared to the other drivers (313 ± 69 vs. 234 ± 50 mmol / kg). In addition, they were also significantly higher. Australian scientists believe that caffeine increases the activity of key signaling enzymes that play a key role in the production of glycogen. However, this effect would have to be proven in a larger study.
Coffee as a sports drink?
Whether coffee is a sports drink or enforce, however, remains questionable. Because some of the subjects complained of mild side effects such as dizziness or subsequent sleep disorders. In further investigations, the Australians now want to find out whether even lower doses of caffeine have a similarly positive effect on glycogen synthesis.
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1. John Hawley (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Bundoora) et al.: Journal of Applied Physiology, doi: 10.1152 / japplphysiol.01121.2007