Caffeine May Ease The Pain
Everyone who has ever worked out in their life knows all about the pain we get the day after. This pain is called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Well a recent study has found evidence that your morning cup of coffee may actually be an antidote for the muscle soreness.
researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens looked at the effects of a caffeine supplement on delayed muscle pain in nine young women.
First, in a simulated workout, the researchers used electrical stimulation to produce eccentric contractions in the women’s thigh muscles — enough to cause moderate day-after soreness.
Next, they repeated the procedure over the next two days, but on each day, the women took either a caffeine pill or placebo pill one hour before the muscle workout. Neither the women nor the researchers knew which pill was given on which day.
Overall, the women reported significantly less muscle soreness during the workout when they took caffeine instead of the placebo. The supplement had about the amount of caffeine found in two cups of coffee.
This is how it works…
The theory is that caffeine eases delayed muscle pain by blocking the activity of a chemical called adenosine, which is released as part of the inflammatory response to injury. Adenosine can activate pain receptors in body cells, explained Victor Maridakis, the study’s lead author.
In this study, he told Reuters, the pain relief with caffeine was stronger than that from painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and naproxen (Aleve).
Maridakis noted that research into another popular pain reliever, ibuprofen, has shown inconsistent results, and it’s unclear whether the drug — sold under brand names including Advil and Motrin — aids delayed muscle soreness.
Before downing a couple cups of joe before your workout, however, Maridakis recommends careful consideration of the possible side effects of caffeine.
“The negative side effects of caffeine are increased feelings of anxiety, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, upset stomach, increased urination and disrupted sleep,” he explained. “Caution should be used when consuming caffeine so not to exacerbate these side effects.”
Though most people are “normal responders” to caffeine, Maridakis noted, some are hypersensitive to it and are at higher risk of side effects.
On the other end of the spectrum are the caffeine-resistant types. People who drink a couple cups of coffee a day tend to become desensitized to caffeine, the study authors point out, and it’s unclear whether a dose of caffeine would aid their post-workout muscle pain.
I knew there was a reason why I love to have a cup of coffee everyday before the gym!
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