Sometimes it comes up with ways of telling you to do stuff you love to do anyway!

From yesterday's SMH

Carbs and coffee refuel muscles faster

July 8, 2008 - 3:51PM


Drinking a cup of coffee with a plate of carbs will help athletes recover from their training sessions faster, Australian research shows.

Melbourne scientists showed that pairing caffeine with food dramatically boosts the body's levels of glycogen, the main fuel source for muscles.

The findings, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, offer Australia's Olympic competitors a new way to power-up in preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games, says lead researcher Professor John Hawley, from RMIT University.

The research found athletes who added caffeine to their post-exercise meal had 66 per cent more glycogen in their muscles than those who ate only carbohydrates.

"If you have 66 per cent more fuel for the next day's training or competition, there's no question you'll be able to go further and faster," said Prof Hawley, who heads the university's Exercise Metabolism Group.

While it has been established that carbohydrates and caffeine improve a variety of athletic performances, this is the first study to show the combination can be used afterwards to help muscles refuel more rapidly.

The research involved four assessment trials with seven endurance cyclists who were given either a plain carbohydrate drink or one containing the caffeine equivalent of six strong cups of coffee.

The cyclists rode a cycle ergometer until exhaustion. Four hours later those who had consumed the drink containing caffeine had 66 per cent higher glycogen levels in their muscles compared to those who had the carbohydrate-only drink.

Prof Hawley said the research could help elite sportspeople looking for an edge over their competitors.

"But because caffeine can potentially have negative effects - such as disturbing sleep or causing the jitters - athletes who want to incorporate it into their recovery routines should experiment and see what works for them well before any serious competitions," he said.

Views: 82

Comment by Adrian on July 9, 2008 at 7:32pm
Wow. I feel less guilty about having four coffees today.
Comment by Colin on July 9, 2008 at 8:25pm
Sorry for being a killjoy sceptic, I have to ask some questions:

How much caffeine is needed? 6 cups is a lot - will it work with one cup? Is the effect linear? is there a threshold amount needed?

Does the increase in glycogen levels reduce over time? For example, is it a 66% increase on the first day, but less on the second day, reducing to zero after a week?
Comment by DamianM on July 9, 2008 at 9:55pm
I don't think the cigarette in the photo will help :)

This is great news, thanks Naomi

(my coffee machine will be fixed and coming back to me tomorrow, YAY)
Comment by Lzzter on July 10, 2008 at 9:23am
I dispute the claim that drinking copious amounts of caffeine will make cyclists go faster.

You see, coffee is what's known as a diuretic. The effect of a diuretic is it makes people piddle more. Any gain in energy and speed by cyclists will be lost by having to run to the loo all the time!
Comment by Kim on July 10, 2008 at 9:40am
Body builders recommend having at least one cup of black coffee before a training session because the caffeine gives you that extra kick that makes you work harder. I guess it's better than taking steriods.
Comment by Owning on July 10, 2008 at 10:30am
Recovery is faster with the use of stimulants, of course. But there
are also all of the problems associated with stimulant use.

Adrenaline stimulates the production of insulin.
Comment by T6079 on July 10, 2008 at 10:34am
Science is good, coffee is better!! mmmm...coffee (and a muffin too thanks!) :)
Comment by naomi on July 10, 2008 at 11:56am
I didn't really need scientists to tell me that coffee makes hills less traumatic!

bicycles+coffee=happy days!

Anyway those disgusting energy gels all you roadies have often have caffeine in them already so its not really new news.
Comment by Peter H on July 11, 2008 at 9:15am
Each morning when I get to work I have 3 to 4 instant coffees then an "extra large" quad shot cappuccino, then later in the day I have another large coffee. I like coffee :)
Comment by DamianM on July 11, 2008 at 9:59am
If you like it why do you subject yourself to instant ? ;)

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