Caffeine and Endurance Training

sport nutrition supplements Jul 08, 2024


Caffeine, a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, and various energy drinks, is widely recognized for its ability to enhance alertness and concentration. However, its benefits extend beyond the mental realm, making it a popular ergogenic aid in the world of endurance training.

How Caffeine Works

Caffeine acts primarily by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, which helps to reduce feelings of fatigue and increase alertness. This mechanism also affects the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which can improve mood and cognitive function. Additionally, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increasing the release of adrenaline, which can enhance physical performance. Here’s a short list of some of the benefits it can have for your endurance training and racing:

  1. Enhanced Performance: Numerous studies have shown that caffeine can improve endurance performance by reducing perceived exertion.
  2. Increased Fat Oxidation: Caffeine can promote the use of fat as a fuel source during prolonged exercise, sparing muscle glycogen and thereby prolonging endurance. 
  3. Improved Mental Focus: Endurance events require not only physical stamina but also mental resilience. 


Here are some tips if you do choose to use caffeine as an ergogenic aid:


  1. Timing: Consume caffeine approximately 30-60 minutes before training.
  2. Dosage: The effective dose of caffeine for performance enhancement typically ranges from 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight. Higher doses do not necessarily lead to greater benefits and may increase the risk of side effects.
  3. Individual Tolerance: Each athlete has a different tolerance to caffeine. Regular users may require higher doses to achieve the same effect, while those who are caffeine-sensitive might experience side effects such as jitters, increased heart rate, or gastrointestinal discomfort.
  4. Hydration: Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, which can lead to dehydration if not managed properly. Be sure to stay well-hydrated, especially during long training sessions.


While there are many sources of caffeine that can be used for training and racing, and in many different forms, I have recently found THE BEST product on the market if you want to experience the benefits of caffeine without the crash. SFuels makes a product called PRIMED and it contains 80 milligrams of caffeine from green tea extract. It also has a few additional ingredients like L-carnitine to help spare glycogen at lower exercise intensities and lower lactate production at higher intensities, taurine to help reduce fatigue and improve endurance and B-vitamins to help energy metabolism.


It is my absolute FAVORITE product to use, especially during longer training. Read more about their PRIMED product HERE.


Remember, there may be potential drawbacks of overusing caffeine such as increased dependence, disrupted sleep and anxiety. If you use caffeine, be sure to monitor how your body reacts to it throughout the day and during training and competitions.


If you would like more help devising the best caffeine protocol for your body, check out my Caffeine Protocol for Athletes e-book HERE.





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