Anyone who trains hard knows the feeling of exhaustion. Remember the last time you pushed yourself to the point where you felt like collapsing? The feeling comes when your body has used up all of it’s carbohydrate stores. If you’re having trouble getting pumped up to workout longer, and you’re experiencing trouble moving your body in even the simplest ways, you know your fuel tank is running empty.
There is one thing that can help keep you moving during times of low-energy, and that is caffeine, according to new research in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Participants in a recent study were split into two groups: tired cyclists who ingested caffeine and tired cyclists who took a placebo. Those who took the caffeine maintained higher performance levels than those who did not.
How does caffeine work? According to Men’s Health, it stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, which gives you an adrenaline rush and fires up your muscles. Caffeine has this effect on people regardless of their carbohydrate storage levels.
Study author Stephen Lane, Ph.D., of RMIT University in Australia, suggests chewing some caffeinated gum a few minutes before exercise for the best results.