February 5, 2010
Athletes can bolster their performance through the judicious use of caffeine, provided they use it responsibly and are mindful of possible side effects, according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). The organization released a 43-page position statement in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition detailing the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine and certain common misconceptions. Tom Nikkola, writing for the Life Time Fitness blog, summed up the ISSN position statement in seven major points:
Caffeine is effective for enhancing sport performance in trained athletes when consumed in low-to-moderate dosages (~3-6 mg/kg). Higher dosages do not result in additional performance benefits.
Caffeine exerts a greater ergogenic effect when consumed in an anhydrous state as compared to coffee.
Caffeine has been shown to enhance vigilance during bouts of extended exhaustive exercise, as well as periods of sustained sleep deprivation.
Caffeine is ergogenic for sustained maximal endurance exercise and has been shown to be highly effective for time-trial performance.
Caffeine supplementation is beneficial for high-intensity exercise.
The literature is equivocal on caffeines benefit in strength-power performance.
The scientific literature does not support caffeine induced dieresis during exercise or any harmful change in fluid balance that would negatively affect performance.
Nikkola added ISSNs statement supported the use of caffeine not only for endurance activity but also in intermittent sports activities, and does exert a thermogenic effect on resting metabolic rate (RMR) at a dose as low as 100 mg. However, users are cautioned about using caffeine for enhancing performance if they are facing issues such as hormone imbalance, insomnia or chronic stress conditions.
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