A study, published in The Journal of Pain, suggests that caffeine can help reduce the post-workout soreness that discourages some people from exercising. The team of University of Georgia Atlanta (UGA) researchers found that moderate doses of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, cut post-workout muscle pain by almost half (to be more precise, up to 48%) in a group of volunteers.
UG group studied nine female college students who were not regular caffeine users and did not engage in regular resistance training. One and two days after an exercise session that caused moderate muscle soreness, the volunteers took either caffeine or a placebo and performed two different quadriceps (thigh) exercises, one designed to produce a maximal force, the other designed to generate a sub-maximal force. Those that consumed caffeine one-hour before the maximum force test had a 48% reduction in pain compared to the placebo group, while those that took caffeine before the sub-maximal test reported a 26% reduction in pain.
Caffeine has long been known to increase alertness and endurance, and a 2003 study led by another UGA group found that caffeine reduces thigh pain during moderate-intensity cycling. The researchers explained that caffeine likely works by blocking the body’s receptors for adenosine, a chemical released in response to inflammation.
Despite certain limitations in the study such as small sample size, caffeine appears to be more effective in relieving post-workout muscle pain than several commonly used drugs. Previous studies have found that the pain reliever naproxen (the active ingredient in Aleve) produced a 30% reduction in soreness. Aspirin produced a 25% reduction, and ibuprofen has produced inconsistent results.
Instead of rushing for a Starbucks after workout, throw in a pack of Mocca Shots high energy caffeine gummy in your workout bag or backpack. One pack equals to two cups of coffee (packing 200mg of caffeine) – so you will can reap the benefit of the delicious caffeine gummy whenever you need it.
Thanks for reading.
VictorMaridakisPatrick J.O’ConnorGary A.DudleyKevin K.McCully, Caffeine Attenuates Delayed-Onset Muscle Pain and Force Loss Following Eccentric Exercise, The Journal of Pain, Volume 8, Issue 3, March 2007, Pages 237-243, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2006.08.006
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