Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nutrition Bite


Caffeine has been used in athletics and endurance events for many years now as a way to improve concentration and endurance. There is a large amount of research done on the effects of caffeine on exercise and to date there are no adverse health effects when taken in moderation.
Claims of caffeine include:

Improved athletic performance
Increased energy
Delayed fatigue
Sparing of muscle glycogen

The research shows that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increasing alertness. It also delays fatigue and may slightly spare muscle glycogen. However, research shows that caffeine, although many claims include this, does not promote fat loss.

Recommendations on caffeine use say to use 3-6mg per kg of body weight one hour prior to exercise. Most energy drinks contain around 80-150mg caffeine while a cup of coffee contains around 80mg. Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to restlessness as well as headaches and nausea. One thing to keep in mind is that caffeine is a diuretic so adequate fluid intake must be maintained during exercise.

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