Effects of Caffeine on Endurance

Topics: Caffeine, Coffee, VO2 max Pages: 9 (3165 words) Published: September 22, 2013


What is the Effect of Caffeine Consumption on Endurance
among Elite Runners Under the Age of 40 in Developed Countries?

Abstract
Running and other endurance exercises are restricted by various natural causes of fatigue. (Callahan, 2011) Caffeine, a white crystalline drug, is often used by athletes as a stimulant during exercise to minimize the effects of fatigue. The purpose of this literature review is to determine if there is a causal relationship between caffeine consumption and endurance among elite runners under the age of 40 in developed countries. Additionally, the review will analyze similar conditions for caffeine use among untrained athletes and habitual caffeine users. In particular, research by Graham and Spriet (1991) suggests high doses of caffeine intake (9 mg/1 kg of body weight) causes an increase of exercise time until exhaustion. A study by Wiles et al. (1992) provides evidence that a small dose of caffeine (3 mg/1 kg of body weight) also causes enhanced oxygen uptake and running performance in high intensity exercise. In the future, more experiments should be performed to specifically test the effect of caffeine consumption on endurance levels while other factors are controlled. Furthermore, the experiments should utilize more subjects within their studies. This will increase internal validity and make the results capable of being generalized to other runners of a similar status.

What is the Effect of Caffeine Consumption on Endurance
among Elite Runners Under the Age of 40 in Developed Countries? College athletes and other elite runners in distance events including the 10k, half marathon, or full marathon in developed countries are interested in whether caffeine consumption prior to prolonged exercise can affect endurance levels. College athletes commonly use caffeine in various forms as a stimulant. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allows this within limitations. However, when urine concentrations exceed 15 mcg/mL, this privilege is rescinded. It takes the average person eight cups of coffee with 100 mg of caffeine present per cup to reach this concentration. (WebMD, 2009) Interestingly enough, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had caffeine alongside drugs such as steroids and cocaine as a banned substance. (Anderson) However, according to the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA), in 2012 caffeine was not on this list. (World Anti-Doping Agency, 2011) It is known that VO2 max levels, carbohydrate and fat stores, muscle fibers, the lactate threshold, and endurance training affect endurance (Davies) The purpose of this literature review is to determine if there is a causal relationship between caffeine consumption and endurance among elite runners under the age of 40 in developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. In order to develop an in-depth understanding of this question, research by Graham & Spriet (1991) and Miles et al. (1992) will be critically reviewed. Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine, the common name for 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine, in its purest form is a white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is considered a stimulant drug. (Kovacs, 2009) It is consumed by ninety percent of North American adults, making it the most widely consumed psychoactive substance. (Kovacs, 2009) The bitter white powder is most often used to provide a distinctive taste in almost all soft drinks. (Kovacs, 2009) Also, caffeine is used to improve alertness, moderate asthma and ADHD, lower blood pressure, and alleviate headaches. Caffeine can be found in caffeine creams for skin treatments and among athletes, as well. (WebMD, 2009) Americans intake caffeine an average of 280 mg/day, considered a moderate amount by medical professionals. (Kovacs, 2009) However, caffeine is considered “likely safe” for adults when used appropriately. (WebMD, 2009) The only time that caffeine consumption is considered excessive or...

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Davies, P. (2001). Factors Affecting Endurance Performance. Retrieved from http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/endurancetraining.html.
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Graham, T. E. & Spriet, L. L. (1991). Performance and Metabolic Responses to a High Caffeine Dose During Prolonged Exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 77(6), 2292-2298.
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Malek, M. H., Housh, T. J., Coburn, J. W., & Beck, T. W. (2006). Effects of Eight Weeks of Caffeine Supplementation and Endurance Training on Aerobic Fitness and Body Composition. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(4), 751-755.
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WebMD (2009). Find a Vitamin or Supplement: Caffeine. Retrieved from http://www.webmd. com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-979-CAFFEINE. aspx?activeIngredientId=979&activeIngredientName=CAFFEINE.
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World Anti-Doping Agency (2011)
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