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Sore Muscles? Caffeine Could Help

Recent news has left me asking if there's anything caffeine can't do, and I'm feeling less and less like my caffeine habit is a vice. We learned that caffeine improves performance for most forms of exercise, making us faster and increasing endurance and strength, and more than 50 percent of you admit to drinking caffeine before some or all workouts. Newest research has found the effects of caffeine aren't limited to providing a pre-exercise boost that powers us through workouts.

Researchers at the University of Illinois rounded up a group of 25-year old men for an experiment. The men participated in two studies held one week apart, and had to perform intense exercise for 30 minutes during each session. They were given a placebo pill before the first session and a caffeine pill before the second session. The researchers found significant evidence that exercise after caffeine was less painful for the volunteers, no matter if they were regular caffeine drinkers or not.

One of the researchers suggested that the findings could help some people who shy from the gym because of too-painful workouts and said, "If we could give people a little caffeine and reduce the amount of pain they're experiencing, maybe that would help them stick with that exercise." Do you think caffeine could help motivate people to revisit their gym?

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Join The Conversation
VeganDragan VeganDragan 8 years
I think that the key here is moderation. I do find that a low dose of caffeine (2 cups of green tea or a small cup of coffee) does help my marathon training. (I can run 20 miles in one run and recover within 30 minutes) I am sensitive to caffeine, so I have to avoid having it late in the day or too much of it or else risk irregular heartbeats and insomnia. But my MD says that so long you keep it in smaller doses, it's perfectly safe, even for me.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Well, even though too much of it can be harmful I suppose, you'd need a lot of caffeine to get the same kinds of side effects that you'd get from painkillers. If people can feel better without using pain meds, why not take the caffeine? I usually get about 50-100 mgs after my workouts and I must say, I'm never really sore.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I'd rather not have any caffeine.
ashantixoxo ashantixoxo 8 years
Sorry but I aint buying any of this...the only benefit I get from the caffeine from my cup of coffee is it stimulates my bowels...apart form that if I exercise immediately after drinking it I get tachycardia and fact just this morning I did an interval jump rope work out immediatley after having my morning joe and it didn't help fend off the soreness in my left shoulder I've been having these past days.And I have insomnia after drinking any other caffeinated drink.
becoming-brina becoming-brina 8 years
I take ibuprofen on the way to the gym to reduce and prevent swelling in my bad knee, and if i'm tired from a long day at work i'll take an excedrin along with it to give me the push i need to get started. I prefer the days that i don't need it, but if it's between caffeine and not working out, i'll take the caffeine.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
Just because caffeine has the effect doesn't mean it's a good solution, because like ilanac13, I feel like there could be some negative side effects. Anyhow, is it really a good idea to mask pain for amateur exercisers who shouldn't overdo it?
margokhal margokhal 8 years
No. People are overloading themselves with it as it is now, and some people are terribly sensitive to caffeine and stimulants, which would only exacerbate the pain associated with exercise. Maybe taking them them through more extensive stretches pre- and post-workout to minimize muscle aches and strains would be better. I started walking moderately 30 min./day last week, doing 15 minutes of stretching before and after as part of my exercise plan, and my back is *still* hurting from the strain [I think that the track I was walking on wasn't level]. I'm definitely not a caffeine drinker, but even so I think there are better, less dangerous ways to bring people to the gym/exercise in general.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i feel like caffeine is becoming the new thing that people talk about for everything when it comes to working out. i think that there are definite benefits, but i think that we need to talk more about how it could also raise your heart rate and that's not necessarily the smartest thing in the world.
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