Don’t feel like working out – give caffeine a try!
Psychologists at Leeds University discovered that taking caffeine prior to workouts makes it more pleasurable. Previous studies have shown that caffeine increases performance for both endurance and strength athletes and a new one shows that it’s easier to take physical exercise to exertion.
The scientists had 12 endurance athletes cycle for ninety minutes at 70 percent of their VO2max. On one occasion the subjects took a placebo an hour before the experiment started, and on the other occasion they took 6 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight. (This equates to 480mg for a 175 pound man – a hefty dose!)
The athletes were questioned about their experience during and after exercise. The perceived exertion was less when they took caffeine.
“The findings have demonstrated that this supplementation regime was associated with a maintenance effect in relation to feelings of pleasure and lowered perceptions of effort”, the researchers write. “The observation of positive subjective effects may partially explain the ergogenic effects of caffeine”.
Caffeine ingestion, affect and perceived exertion during prolonged cycling.