Most people drink coffee in the morning as a daily ritual and a “pick me up.” Now research is finding that caffeine helps fight pain induced by exercise.
Caffeine works on a system in the brainand spinal cord (the adenosine neuromodulatory system) that is heavily involved in pain processing, says University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Robert Motl. And since caffeine blocks adenosine, the biochemical that plays an important role in energy transfer and thus exercise, he speculated that it could reduce pain.
“We’ve shown that caffeine reduces pain reliably, consistently during cycling, across different intensities, across different people, different characteristics. But does that reduction in pain translate into an improvement in sport performance?” he said.
“One of the things that may be a practical application, is if you go to the gym and you exercise and it hurts, you may be prone to stop doing that because pain is an aversive stimulus that tells you to withdraw,” Motl said. “So if we could give people a little caffeine and reduce the amount of pain they’re experiencing, maybe that would help them stick with that exercise.”
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If you think you just can’t take another day of weight training or high intensity cardio; then maybe it’s time you had a little caffeine to take the edge off!
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)