A review study conducted by the University of Georgia, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, looked at caffeine from coffee and improvement on athletic endurance.

Simon Higgins, a doctoral student in kinesiology at the University of Georgia reviewed more the 600 scholarly articles on coffee and focused on those that measured caffeine dose and endurance performance. Previous research has focused solely on caffeine itself and improvement on endurance rather than the sources of caffeine. Higgins looked at nine trials that met the inclusion criteria. Conclusions drawn from the trials: caffeine from coffee increased endurance performance by an average of 24%, between 3 and 7 mg/kg of body weight of caffeine is the optimal dose, and the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary from 75gm to 150gm, depending on variety and how it was prepared.

What are the benefits of choosing caffeinated coffee rather than a caffeine supplement?

  • is tightly regulated by the FDA and has been proven to be safe, whereas supplements are not regulated and have not been proven to be safe before going on the market
  • also contains other healthy compounds such as polyphenols
  • is much more cost effective

Worried about dehydration?
Research has proven to debunk this myth. While caffeine is a mild diuretic it does not increase total fluid loss over a 24hr period. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the scientific literature does not support caffeine-induced diuresis during exercise. In fact, several studies have failed to show any change in sweat rate, total water loss, or negative change in fluid balance that would adversely affect performance, even under conditions of heat stress.

Do you have more questions on caffeine? Contact a Sports RD Pro Dietitian


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