New York: Caffeine in a morning cup of coffee can help improve athletic endurance, reveals a new study.
"Coffee is a popular source of caffeine, so this paper looked at the research surrounding its ergogenic benefits," said the study author Simon Higgins from University of Georgia in the US.
The scientists reviewed more than 600 scholarly articles and screened them for those that focused only on caffeinated-coffee conditions, measured the caffeine dose and measured their endurance.
Of these, nine randomised control trials specifically used coffee to improve endurance.
Participants either cycled or ran after drinking coffee. They then exercised vigorously and the results were measured. In a majority of cases, endurance was noticeably improved after the use of coffee.
Looking at the nine trials, Higgins found that between three and seven milligrams (mg) per kilogram of body weight of caffeine from coffee increased endurance performance by an average of 24 percent.
The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary from 75 mg to more than 150, depending on the variety and how it is roasted and brewed.
"This is helpful for athletes because coffee is a naturally occurring compound," Higgins said.
"There is the potential that getting your caffeine by drinking coffee has similar endurance benefits as taking caffeine pills."
Coffee appears to be just as helpful as taking caffeine in the form of powder or tablets, Higgins stated.
"New research could mean that athletes could have a cup of coffee versus taking a pill," Higgins explained.
The study was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.