Our prior posts have documented some of the research supporting the use of caffeine in both strength training and endurance events. Caffeine has many effects including increased alertness and decreased perception of pain and fatigue. These effects on the central nervous system allow an athlete to train harder and longer at a given intensity when caffeinated. New research is investigating caffeine's impact on recovery from exercise.
Caldwell and colleagues in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of caffeine consumption after a 164 km cycling event. Each cyclist was randomized to receive either 3mg/kg of body weight of caffeine or a placebo immediately after the ride as well as for the next 4 mornings and afternoons. Not surprisingly, athletes provided with caffeine reported improved leg function and decreased muscle soreness compared to the placebo group. The authors concluded cyclists may benefit from ingesting caffeine after endurance events to accelerate recovery. Athletes are advised to speak with their physician before taking any ergogenic aid.