Coffee Improves Sports Performance in Men and Women

Coffee Improved Sports Performance

Study finds coffee is associated with improved sports performance in men and women.

Study finds coffee ingestion improves 5 km cycling time trial performance in recreationally active men and women by a similar magnitude.

A new study, published in Nutrients, of 38 participants (19 men, 19 women) has found that drinking caffeinated coffee improves the speed of cycling.

The study, which investigated the effect of coffee ingestion in a 5km (3.1 miles) cycling trial, found that it had a positive effect on the time trial performance of both sexes. The study’s findings suggest that both men and women respond similarly to coffee and that coffee ingestion may be a practical source of caffeine prior to exercise to improve performance.

Participants restricted coffee consumption for 12 hours before drinking either: coffee providing of caffeine, a placebo in water, or nothing as a control. In a 5km cycling time trial, following coffee ingestion, the performance of both men and women improved by approximately nine seconds and six seconds compared with placebo and control, respectively. No differences in performance were observed between the placebo and control.

The study contributes to the growing body of research that highlights the ergogenic benefit of coffee ingestion. To date, much of the research on this topic has focused only on anhydrous caffeine and on men.


Study author

Associate Professor Neil Clarke, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, United Kingdom

References: “Coffee Ingestion Improves 5 km Cycling Performance in Men and Women by a Similar Magnitude” Neil D. Clarke, Nicholas A. Kirwan and Darren L. Richardson, 25 October 2019, Nutrients.
DOI: 10.3390/nu11112575

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