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Caffeine for Endurance Performance

More energy for a great long run.

Shot of espresso w/ caffeine

Caffeine has long been used by athletes to jazz up their workouts, and now we have a better idea of the benefits of caffeine for endurance performance.

In an investigation in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise on using caffeine for endurance, 23 well-trained male athletes saw their time to exhaustion increase during an intense treadmill running test when they were provided with 4.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight 45 minutes before exercise compared with when they were supplied a placebo. This performance benefit was attributed to a caffeine-induced increase in VO2max, the maximum rate of oxygen your body can use during exercise. Also at play here was a rise in lactate levels.

The body can convert lactate to energy during intense workouts without using oxygen and provide another energy source to help push the pace.

See also: Caffeine Boosts Performance in Athletes Who Use It Rarely

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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