University of Georgia

Caffeine boost on the field

Simon Higgins in exercise room with coffee

The caffeine in a cup of coffee could help improve athletic endurance, according to a new study by Simon Higgins, a doctoral student in the College of Education.

Higgins reviewed the relatively modest scientific literature on coffee as a source of caffeine (as opposed to an abundance of research on pure caffeine), and he found that when participants in trials either cycled or ran after drinking coffee, in a majority of cases endurance was noticeably improved.

In particular, between 3 and 7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight of caffeine from coffee increased endurance performance by an average of 24 percent.

Higgins says that more research is needed before giving official recommendations to athletes, especially because the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary, depending on how it has been prepared. In any case, “athletes should run any caffeine use through their sports dietitian first, as the NCAA lists it as a banned substance.”