I didn't read any of the linked material, but I'll throw in that it depends what kind of exercise you're doing. I've read in the past that caffeine increases fatty acid availability or release or something, which would certainly aid endurance exercise but won't do a damn thing for strength exercise.
Fitness Minutes: (12,713) Posts: 4,114 6/16/13 12:03 P
Although I guess "help" is relative. The article focuses on the risk side of a potential cardiac issue, which I would say that the conclusion based on their blood flow measurements are conjecture but shouldn't necessarily be ignored. In other words, the jury is still out. In my opinion and experience, I like a bit of caffeine before exercise.
Does caffeine help when you exercise? A spark note raises the question at www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness _a rticles.asp?id=689 Seems that, perhaps by keeping the arteries that feed the heart muscle directly in a state of partial contraction, caffeine does not permit the same increase in blood flow to the heart muscle that would happen during exercise if there were no caffeine aboard. The suggested conclusion would be that caffeine diminishes max performance. The big risk here, might be that caffeine could make marginal flow through clogged heart arteries even smaller, leading to chest pain and possible heart damage. This was not mentioned.
The article talked only about blood flow to the heart, and did not mention whether there was any change in athletic performance as a result of taking caffeine (yeah - they used caffeine pills in the study -- no Starbucks fancy blends here). They do mention, though, that folks taking caffeine are more focused. Maybe that fact alone would improve athletic performance.
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