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University of Kent

A coffee can help to their fitness plans, study finds

Ibercampus
In a paper published this month in the scientific journal Sports Medicine, Professor Samuele Marcora, a University of Kent endurance expert, suggests the use of caffeine could help people stick to their fitness plans.

Investigators at the University of Georgia recently published a review study that takes a fresh look at coffee´s effects on sporting prowess. The work, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, delved into the existing data from previous investigations into coffee, caffeine and sports.

Professor Marcora suggests that reducing perception of effort during exercise using caffeine (or other psychoactive drugs like methylphenidate and modafinil) could help the many people who find difficult to stick to their fitness plans.

Together with lack of time, physical exertion is one of the main perceived barriers to exercise, which is natural as humans evolved to effectively conserve energy. This inherent ´laziness´ means that sustaining exercise in the long term is very difficult even when people are still motivated to improve their health and fitness as when they started.

Professor Marcora points out that perception of effort is one of the main reasons why most people choose sedentary activities for their leisure time. Compared to watching television (zero effort), even moderate-intensity physical activities like walking require considerable effort. He says that the use of caffeine or other psychoactive drugs to reduce perception of effort during exercise can make the healthy choice easier.

He also states that whilst there is no strong ethical opposition to the use of psychoactive drugs to help quit smoking (nicotine) or treat obesity (appetite suppressants), the negative perception of doping in sport may prevent the use of stimulants and other psychoactive drugs to treat physical inactivity which is responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity.

Of interest

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