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Fitness fanatics, bodybuilders and other strength athletes train better after two cups of coffee than after a pill containing caffeine, write British sports scientists Darren Richardson and Neil Clarke soon in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Study The researchers got nine trained male students to do a simple twosets to failure bench press workout on different occasions.
On one occasion the subjects drank two cups of coffee an hour before starting their workout [COF]. The students consumed 0.15 g instant coffee per kg bodyweight. That provided them with 5 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight. On another occasion the subjects drank two cups of decaffeinated instant coffee an hour before starting their workout [DEC]. The students consumed 0.15 g decaffeinated instant coffee per kg bodyweight.
On yet another occasion the subjects drank two cups of decaffeinated instant coffee an hour before starting their workout, and took caffeine pills as well [D+C]. The students consumed 0.15 g decaffeinated instant coffee and 5 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight.
On another occasion the students just took caffeine pills an hour before doing their strength training [CAF]. They then consumed 5 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight. Finally, the students were given a placebo on one occasion an hour before the workout. [PLA]
Results The subjects managed more reps when they did squats after drinking ordinary coffee, or decaffeinated coffee plus caffeine than when they had been given a placebo, caffeine pills or decaffeinated coffee. Apparently coffee contains more stimulants than just caffeine or possibly substances that reinforce the stimulatory effect of caffeine.
Conclusion “The practical implications of the present studyudy are that the ingestion of caffeinated coffee, providing 5 mg•kg1 of caffeine (approximately tely two large cups i.e. 300 ml per cup) prior to resistance exercise, can enhance performance”, ce”, the researchers wrote.
“Further research should be conducted to observe if enhancements in performance cann be procured from a lower dose of caffeine from coffee, for example 3 mg/kg1, which would be a more practical amount of coffee to drink (approximately 1 large cup i.e. 300 ml).”
Reference: J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Feb 12.