Fitness Nutrition

Caffeine for boxers: the 4 facts you must know

Two cups of coffee
Dr James Morton provides four important facts about caffeine

1. Caffeine is found in a variety of food stuffs
Caffeine is the world’s most popular drug and is found naturally in coffee, tea, chocolate etc, and also added to a variety of drinks (e.g. Coca-Cola, Red Bull, above) and sports supplements (e.g. sports gels, drinks etc).

2. Caffeine improves mental and physical performance
Caffeine has consistently been shown to improve mental and physical performance primarily by having a direct effect on the brain so that we perceive the exercise to be easier. As such, we can maintain a higher intensity for a longer period of time.

3. Caffeine should be consumed in a dose ranging from 2-4mg/kg body-mass
The performance benefits of caffeine can be achieved with doses of 2-4mg/kg body-mass, which for a 75kg athlete would correspond to 150-300mg. Good sources of this include sports gels (e.g. SIS GO+Caffeine that contains 75-150mg per gel; CNP Gel Max contains 100mg per gel) or even ProPlus Capsules (contains 50mg per capsule). A standard can of Red Bull also contains 80mg and a simple espresso a comparable amount. Athletes should choose caffeine according to their preferred source and rehearse in training prior to competition.

4. Caffeine should be consumed 30-45 minutes before contests
To achieve the performance benefits of caffeine at the right time, it should be consumed 30-45 minutes before you wish to feel the mental performance benefit.

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