With its irresistible aroma and great taste, coffee is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a boon for sportspersons. Yes, it has been discovered that drinking coffee improves the speed of cycling in both men and women.
The study, published in the journal ‘Nutrients’ investigated the effect of coffee ingestion in a 5km cycling trial, found that it had a positive effect on the time trial performance of both sexes. The study’s findings suggest that both men and women respond similarly to coffee and that coffee ingestion may be a practical source of caffeine prior to exercise to improve performance.
At first, the study was conducted on 38 participants (19 men, 19 women). Participants restricted coffee consumption for 12 hours before drinking either: coffee providing 3mg.kg-1 of caffeine, a placebo in water or nothing as a control.
In a 5km cycling time trial, following coffee ingestion, the performance of both men and women improved by approximately nine seconds and six seconds as compared to those who had either taken the placebo or the control.
No differences in performance were observed between the placebo and control. The study contributes to the growing body of research that highlights the ergogenic benefit of coffee ingestion. Till date, much of the research on this topic has focused only on anhydrous caffeine and on men.