Athletes and Caffeine; what you should know…

19 04 2010

Caffeinated energy drinks are specifically marketed to athletes to increase concentration, alertness, reaction time, speed and metabolism.  Here are a few important things every athlete should know about caffeine:

  1. Caffeine is one of the substances that is conditionally banned by the NCAA.  It can cause you to fail an NCAA drug test.
  2. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and a diuretic; excessive consumption coupled with strenuous physical activity can be dangerous.
  3. The caffeine content of some dietary supplements may not be known due to “hidden” sources such as guarana.
  4. There are more than 500 varieties of unregulated energy drinks available worldwide.
  5. Caffeine is present in a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications, soft drinks, sport and energy drinks, and dietary supplements.
  6. Some people may have trouble sleeping and experience increased anxiety following caffeine consumption.
  7. Caffeine consumption above 300 mg may cause negative results.

Benefits of Moderate Caffeine Consumption

  1. Elevates mood and increases alertness.
  2. Aids in relieving headaches.
  3. May improve asthma symptoms.
  4. Can increase weight loss.
  5. 100-200 mg of caffeine can provide positive results.

Recommended  Caffeine Sources:

Source Amount Mg of Caffeine
Brewed Coffee 8 oz 135
Decaffeinated Coffee 8 oz 3
Instant Coffee 8 oz 76-106
Instant Decaf Coffee 8 oz 5
Espresso 2 oz 100
Black Tea 8 oz 40
Green Tea 8 oz 20
Chocolate Milk 8 oz 8

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.