08 Apr Study Confirms that Caffeine Can Ease the Pain of Your Workout
Everyone has seen it, you’re at the gym and you notice that many choose coffee over sports drinks or regular H2O. When energy levels are burned off from the stresses outside the gym, the caffeine in that cup of coffee carries many through a routine workout. Even more invigorating, and probably unnoticed by the java Joes at the gym, is that the caffeine in their mug of dark roast also helps ease the pain of their workout.
Robert Motl, a University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor, did a study with 25 college males to test the claims that caffeine does in fact reduce the pain of a work out on both coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers. During the tests, Motl’s team put the subjects through routine cycling exercises and prior to the workout, participants were given a pill. Some received a dose of caffeine and others a placebo. The study found that caffeine does reduce pain during a workout in both habitual coffee drinkers and java-free gym goers.
Being a stimulus that works on the adenosine neuromodulatory system, a part of the brain associated with pain processing, caffeine diminishes the physical pains of athletic exertion. This is encouraging news for everyone who wants to become more physically active.
Many go to the gym and push it until the pain convinces them to call it quits. This is the point where a natural and healthy boost like caffeine can take it to the next level. By reducing the pain of a workout, that level at which we tend to drop off because of exhaustion and soreness gets pushed back and the extra workout increases the health benefits.
The caffeine-workout connection helps explain why so many are chugging large raspberry mochas into the nation’s health clubs. You, like everyone else, want to get the most out of the time invested in a workout. But you are not a coffee drinker or running on a full stomach of dark brew isn’t the greatest idea. A quick solution is a 2 oz. 5-Hour Energy shot. 5-Hour Energy shots have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of premium coffee and are sugar-free, contain only 4 calories and they store nicely in your gym bag.
For greater details about Motl’s caffeine study, you can read about it in the April edition of International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.