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Positive and Negative Effects Athletic Performance and Caffeine Essay

Related Topics: Coffee Energy Performance Caffeine

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Positive and Negative Effects of Caffeine on Athletic Performance


Caffeine is an alkaloid as well as a natural intoxicant that is prevalent in coffee, tea, as well as cacao. In the contemporary setting, caffeine is the most extensively consumed psychoactive drug across the globe, enabling an individual to continue being attentive and precluding the onset of fatigue. In recent times, caffeine has become the prevalent supplement for numerous athletes. As a result of its positive impacts on exercise performance, a number of athletic organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association have even began to proscribe caffeine in high doses. According to Mishra (2018), the United States Olympic Committee has reported that there are numerous positive impacts of caffeine use for athletes. These comprise of increased endurance during workout performance, team sports, as well as for short duration sports. In contrast, there are parties that believe caffeine has a dehydrating impact based on the fact that it is a diuretic and therefore causes water shortage.This essay purposes to comprehensively examine the positive and negative effects of caffeine on athletic performance.

Positive Effects

A number of endurance athletes utilize caffeine in order to enhance their performance. The justification for caffeine use is centered on the fact that caffeine enhances the utilization of free fatty acids in the course of endurance workout and as a result supposedly diminishes usage of glycogen by muscles. During athletic events that necessitate lengthy endurance, marathoners and triathletes experience decreased levels of glycogen, which are linked to exhaustion and adversely impact performance (Dunford and Doyle, 2011).

To have sufficient energy for muscles, the human body utilizes glycogen. When the amounts of glycogen stored within the body are washed-out, this results in exhaustion and fatigue. One more energy-source for the body is the amount of fat stored. Caffeine consumption is beneficial in enabling body muscles to utilize fat as the source of energy. This is advantageous to an athlete’s body based on the fact that the human body contains a lot more amount of fat stored as compared to the amounts of glycogen that are freely available for use. Therefore, when caffeine is consumed, the athlete’s body is motioned to utilize fat, and consequently this suspends the exhaustion of muscle glycogen. This is significantly beneficial to athletic performance as it can is in sustenance of energy levels (Patton, 2016).

McDaniel et al. (2010) indicate that for numerous years, several athletes consumed coffee before competitive events. However, it was not until recently that caffeine was established to facilitate the performance of an athlete. Results of studies conducted in a five year span significantly demonstrated that caffeine efficaciously increases the performances of an athlete during endurance events. More specifically, different athletes varying from marathon runners to those partaking in power and strength competitive events substantially benefit from the consumption of caffeine. For instance, a study conducted by Jenkinson and Harbert (2008) demonstrated that athletes were able to finish a cycling competition in a substantially faster period subsequent to the ingestion of caffeine. In addition, athletes in a rowing competition has their performance time cut down by 1.2 percent subsequent to consuming caffeine.

The significant ergogenic advantage of using caffeine might be more extensively linked to its role as a stimulant to a human’s central nervous system. Specifically, the role of caffeine in augmenting the endurance of an athlete’s performance is linked with an intensified sense of awareness and a diminished perception of effort. Moreover, individuals without the habit of using caffeine regularly experiences these benefits of using caffeine more enthusiastically (Dunford and Doyle, 2011). Caffeine use to enhance the performance of an employee is not just confined to the aspect of endurance, bearing on the fact that the stimulatory effects of caffeine might also improve the athlete’s strength performance. Notably, a number of strength athletes make use of caffeine to stimulate muscle fibers. The substance can also have an effect on employment of muscle for exercise by diminishing the motor unit recruitment onset and enhancing nerve transmission speed (Dunford and Doyle, 2011).

In addition to limiting basic reaction time, it is imperative to note that caffeine does not seem to aid in the performance of more intricate motor tasks, and it may even be to some extent disruptive to the body. Reliant on how much caffeine that a person consumes, the substance can provisionally increase the heartbeat rate and also augment secretion of acid in the stomach walls and also production of urine. These sorts of effects are insignificant amongst healthy adults who consume reasonable amounts of caffeine, for instance, about two to three cups on a daily basis. One of the most severe effects of caffeine consumption comprises of trembling, anxiety, sleeplessness, muscle tension, bad temper, headaches, and confusion. Typically,…

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…to be consumed an hour prior to the workout. Basically, this can be translated into the aspect that averagely, one cup of liquid coffee comprises of 85 milligrams of caffeine. Therefore, an athlete with a bodyweight of approximately 130 pounds would necessitate coffee amounts of about 118 mg to 295 mg of caffeine to perceive any prospective benefit in their athletic performance (Patton, 2016).

The International Olympic Committee dictates a permissible maximum amount of 12 ?g of caffeine for every ml of urine. A dosage of caffeine that varies from 9 to 13 mg/kg just about one hour before an athlete’s performance will get to the maximum permissible urinary concentration for partaking in competitions and events. Caffeine ingesting and urinary concentration is reliant on aspects such as gender and body weight. As a result, ingesting 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee that comprise of nearly 100 mg per cup would give rise to the maximum acceptable urinary concentration. In the same way, the NCAA takes into account urinary amounts subsequent to competitions that surpass 15 ?g/ml to be unlawful. In spite of the fact that the Global Agency for Anti-doping does not consider or categorize caffeine to be a proscribed substance, it has incorporated caffeine to be part of the monitoring program, which functions to institute kinds of misappropriation in athletic competition (Evolution Nutrition, 2015).


Caffeine is an intricate substance that is contained in numerous organic compounds and is significantly consumed by humans in different beverages such as coffee and also in snacks such as chocolate. Statistically, caffeine is the most prevalently consumed drug across the globe. The bodily effect of caffeine varies from different adenosine receptors in numerous kinds of body tissues. For the most part, caffeine is ergogenic in aerobic workouts. As established in the paper, caffeine is considered to be an ergogenic facilitators, in the sense that it enhanced endurance kinds of workouts, for instance, running, cycling, and also swimming. From an athletic standpoint, caffeine also facilitates resistance training. Caffeine is one of the most efficacious workout supplements accessible. It is also exceedingly economical and comparatively safe to use and consume. Research has demonstrated that caffeine can facilitate athletic endurance performance, high-intensity exercise, in addition to power sporting activities.

Nonetheless, it appears to be most advantageous to trained athletes. The negative effects of caffeine comprise of nervousness, agitation, sleeplessness, queasiness, gastrointestinal pain,…

Sample Source(s) Used


Anthony, G. (2019). Positive and negative effects of caffeine on athletes. Align Thoughts. Retrieved from:

Dunford, M., & Doyle, J. A. (2011). Nutrition for sport and exercise. Cengage Learning.

Evolution Nutrition. (2015). How Caffeine Affects Athletic Performance. Retrieved from:

Jenkinson, D. M., & Harbert, A. J. (2008). Supplements and sports. American family physician, 78(9), 1039-1046.

Letter, W. (1995). The New Wellness Encyclopedia. University of California at Berkeley.

Mattioli, A. V., Sisca, G., & Farinetti, A. (2019). Potential negative effects of caffeine in athletes. Progress in Nutrition, 21(1), 241-242.

McDaniel, L. W., McIntire, K., Streitz, C., Jackson, A., & Gaudet, L. (2010). The effects of caffeine on athletic performance. College Teaching Methods & Styles Journal (CTMS), 6(1), 33-38.

Mishra, D. (2018). Caffeine For Athletic Performance: Good Or Avoid? Sideline Sports. Retrieved from:

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