Thursday, July 31, 2014

Study Spotlight: Caffeine with Carbs for Better Muscle Recovery

Caffeine is typically taken to increase your energy, wake you up in the morning and help you get a higher energy level for when you're getting ready to workout or compete.  It is not typically seen in use with recovery.  

This study looked how much muscle glycogen (fuel to help you move) recovered after an exhaustive workout when just taking in carbs afterwards or taking in carbs and caffeine.  They found that at about 4 hours of recovery time that the people taking in carbs with caffeine had about a 50% increase in muscle glycogen.  This was significant in findings because at rest caffeine typically inhibits the production of muscle glycogen.

This is important in the use with training due to the recovery of these stores which in theory increases your ability to go back for another training session quicker and with more stored energy.  Obvious benefits can be seen no matter what sport you are partaking in as this may allow to increase your training load without having a negative effect.

What to take away: If you are going to have several high level competitions or hard training in consecutive days or in close proximity consider adding caffeine to your post workout recovery to help rebuild muscle glycogen quicker and allow your body to rebuild faster to get ready for your next event.  This in combination with other recovery techniques to return energy stores back to pre workout levels can be very powerful no matter what event you are training for.

High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine
David J. Pedersen
J Appl Physiol 105: 7-13, 2008

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