CAFFEINE AND EXERCISE
Rushall notes (1990).
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases respiration, heart rate, metabolic rate, and the secretion of certain hormones. It is found in many foods, beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks), over-the-counter diet aids, cold remedies, and chocolate products. Many persons use it to increase energy and concentration.
Reactions to caffeine are particularly individual. It can cause indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and dehydration. The body's ability to cool itself is reduced so it is dangerous for hot and humid conditions. There is some scientific suggestion that it may slow calcium absorption in the bones in women and therefore, may be associated with osteoporosis.
In elite athletes it is used to alter metabolism, in particular, fats, carbohydrate, and protein use. It spares the immediate use of carbohydrates, using more fats for aerobic energy.
Its benefit is not yet always evident because of the individual nature of response. It is a banned drug and if found of sufficient quantity (determined by blood concentration) will result in disqualification.
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