Caffeine and Exercise Performance

min read


The Sports Injury Clinic

Jamie Barnes

April 12, 2022


Many of us love our daily coffee for a number of reasons (taste, or as a pick-me-up), but did you know about the performance benefits of caffeine?

A recent position stand from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) delved into the effect of caffeine on exercise performance.

The paper found that there was some acute benefit to a number of physical qualities, such as muscular endurance, muscular strength, sprint performance, jumping, throwing, and a range of aerobic and anaerobic sporting actions. Positive effects are also shown for cognitive function. When looking specifically at endurance exercise, the review showed that caffeine had been shown to improve endurance by 2-4%.

In regard to intake, the consensus recommendation is to consume 3-6 mg per kg of body weight, ~60 minutes prior to activity. This is variable depending on the source of caffeine (e.g., caffeine gum, energy gels, mouth rinses) - some sources may be absorbed more quickly than others. This dose is also not expected to have a negative effect on hydration.

It is important to consider the side-effects of caffeine intake and your individual response, which may include anxiety and sleeplessness in some people. Regular coffee drinkers may also experience different effects to non-coffee drinkers. In regards to the sleep, time of day should be a specific consideration, as caffeine may continue to have an effect on alertness for 6+ hours after consumption and taken too close to bedtime, may impact the ability to fall asleep or remain asleep.

If you're looking for a pick-me-up before a strength session, run or ride, your beloved cup of coffee may be your friend!

Thanks to One Pear Tree for our regular caffeine supply!


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