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13/01/24 3

A caffeine as a friend: performance and endurance

Caffeine has been shown to improve endurance performance. Studies showing this data date back to the 1970s and the results have been confirmed countless times to this day. Caffeine easily crosses all the barriers of the body so much so that it already begins to be absorbed by the mucosa of the mouth, which is why it is advisable to take it in liquid form to maximize its effects.

Its half-life varies from 3 to 5 hours, although several studies have shown that it is an indicative timing as it is influenced by many factors including: genetics, smoking (shortens the half-life), diet, presence of liver diseases (prolongs the half-life) and concomitant use with some drugs such as oral contraceptives (they lengthen the half-life).

Caffeine and mental focus

The main neurological mechanism of action of caffeine derives from its chemical structure similar to adenosine; this characteristic allows it to act on the same receptors, but unlike adenosine which exerts a sedation and relaxation effect, caffeine has antagonizing effect, preventing this action and causing symptoms of vigilance and wakefulness. This inhibition of adenosine can affect the dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and adrenaline systems; how? When the brain is tired it accumulates ADP which inhibits the release of excitatory neurotransmitters; caffeine, acting as an antagonist and blocking this physiological modulation, keeps the brain active despite tiredness.

At a cerebral level it acts on: hippocampus (memory), cortex (reasoning speed, higher mental functions), cerebellum (motor coordination), striatum (automatisms and muscle tone) and nucleus accumbens (sense of pleasure).

And what about the muscular part?

Caffeine works by increasing the cytoplasmic concentration of calcium and potassium ions available to muscle myofibrils with a consequent increase in contractile force. It also indirectly activates the nitric oxide synthase enzyme, promoting the production of nitric oxide which, being a vasodilator, improves the blood flow to the muscle, increasing its efficiency.

Carbohydrates and caffeine, what is the correlation?

It is now well known in the sporting world that the intake of carbohydrates during prolonged physical exercise helps to support performance by decreasing fatigue and improving endurance capacity. It is also clear, at the same time and consequently, that it is an advantage to absorb more carbohydrates and leave as little as possible in the intestine; this for two reasons:

  1. the accumulation of carbohydrates in the intestine could cause gastrointestinal problems, compromising performance
  2. metabolizing more carbohydrates leads to improved performance.

Therefore, in addition to the carbohydrates themselves, anything that improves their absorption can improve sports performance. This is where caffeine comes into play which, according to some studies, can have an improving effect of around 25%. How?

Without going into too much detail, we can say that the absorption of glucose (carbohydrates) is partly linked to a transporter, SGLT1, which tends to become saturated in the presence of high doses of carbohydrates. Caffeine acts indirectly on SGLT1 by inhibiting the phosphodiesterase enzyme with a consequence of greater permanence of cAMP activity on the cell membrane with a positive effect on SGLT1 itself.

Caffeine, carbohydrates…and more.

In SPRINTDATE ATP BOOSTER 3.0 the association of caffeine and carbohydrates with Fructose 1-6 Diphosphate and carnitine further contribute to increasing energy levels.

Fructose 1-6 Diphosphate acts through the activation of glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, resulting in metabolic reactivation. Carnitine, on the other hand, thanks to its biological role, facilitates the entry of fatty acids into our energy centers – the mitochondria -, where they are oxidized to produce energy; it also has an antioxidant action on high-metabolism cells, such as cardiac and muscle cells.

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