Friday, September 18, 2009

Caffeine After Exercise Restores Glycogen

If you've been following the news about coffee, you will have seen reports on its many health benefits which include lowering your risk of Parkinson's Disease, Diabetes Type 2 and colon cancer. But for athletes and those who enjoy a strenuous workout, there's even more good news.

A recent study shows that those who ingest caffeine and carbohydrates replenish the glycogen in their muscles much more quickly. Glycogen is the muscle's primary energy souce during exercise and is burned off as the muscles are used.

In the study, participants who ingested a drink that contained carbohydrate plus caffeine had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrate alone, according to the study, published by The American Physiological Society.

The researchers found the following:

*one hour after exercise, muscle glycogen levels had replenished to the same extent whether or not the athlete had the drink containing carbohydrate and caffeine or carbohydrate only

*four hours after exercise, the drink containing caffeine resulted in 66% higher glycogen levels compared to the carbohydrate-only drink

*throughout the four-hour recovery period, the caffeinated drink resulted in higher levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin

*several signaling proteins believed to play a role in glucose transport into the muscle were elevated to a greater extent after the athletes ingested the carbohydrate-plus-caffeine drink, compared to the carbohydrate-only drink.

Read the press release at the American Physiological Society.