Give Now  »

Noon Edition

Running on Caffeine

Runner's take note: caffeine might help you get down the road.

Recent research has shown that caffeine can actually boost a runner's endurance and thereby improve his time by 10 to 15%. These days research is showing that in moderation caffeine really isn't so bad for the body. So it's not a matter of sacrificing health to athletic performance. What caffeine seems to do for runners is it makes them feel like they are exerting themselves less, not running as hard as usual. Other research suggests that caffeine causes the nerves to "fire" up the muscles.

Despite all this talk of coffee, there are better froms of caffeine to take in order to boost performance. Some research has shown that caffeine in the coffee form actually doesn't seem to boost a runner's performance. Instead, caffeine in the pill form seems to work better. However, it all really comes down to the individual. If interested in finding out what caffeine can do for their performance, runners should experiment with it well in advance of the big race day. And, before popping caffeine pills be advised that this area is still controversial; caffeine above a certain amount is on the banned substances list of the International Olympic Committee.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science