A review study from the University of Georgia has shown that caffeine from coffee could help to improve athletic endurance. The study focused on more than 600 scholarly articles, screening for those that exclusively focused on caffeinated coffee and its effect on endurance. It was found that nine randomized control trials used coffee to improve endurance.
The review study was conducted by third year doctoral student in kinesiology, Simon Higgins. In his research, Higgins found that taking between three and seven milligrams per kilogram of body weight of caffeine from coffee increased one’s endurance by an average of 24%. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee typically varies between 75mg and 150mg.
Higgins said, “Previous research has focused on caffeine itself as an aid to improve endurance. Coffee is a popular source of caffeine, so this paper looked at the research surrounding its ergogenic benefits. This is helpful for athletes because coffee is a naturally occurring compound. There’s the potential that getting your caffeine by drinking coffee has similar endurance benefits as taking caffeine pills.”
In the nine trials that were studied, participants either ran or rode bicycles after consuming coffee. After that, they vigorously exercised, and the results were measured. In most cases, endurance greatly improved after drinking coffee.
Higgins ultimately discovered that caffeine from coffee has ergogenic benefits that improve physical performance. He also said that more research is needed to determine whether or not caffeine obtained from coffee differs from pure caffeine. Many believe that caffeine obtained from coffee is not as beneficial as pure caffeine.
Higgins stated, “While there is a lack of high-quality research on coffee as a source of caffeine, there is an abundance of research on pure caffeine. It’s surprising how little we know about caffeine from coffee when its endurance effects could be just as beneficial as pure caffeine. There’s a perception that coffee won’t give you the same benefits as pure caffeine. New research could mean that athletes could have a cup of coffee versus taking a pill.”