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Caffeine During Competition

A study from the University of Connecticut shows that caffeinated drinks are safe for most people when they exercise. When you take caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea or cola and do not exercise, the caffeine can act as a diuretic and drain fluid from your body. However, during exercise, caffeine does not increase urination, so it does not take fluid from your body.

Caffeine also can help you exercise longer. Your muscles get much of their energy from sugar that they store inside their fibers. When a muscle runs out of its stored sugar, it hurts and cannot contract as effectively. Caffeine raises blood levels of a fat called triglycerides, causes the muscles to burn more fat for energy and thus spares the sugar inside muscles to prolong endurance. So drinks containing caffeine can help increase endurance during exercise.

Caffeine, body fluid-electrolyte balance, and exercise performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2002, Vol 12, Iss 2, pp 189-206. LE Armstrong. Univ Connecticut, Dept Kinesiol, Storrs,CT 06269 USA

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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