foto: taryn elliott von pexels
March 1946, Fausto Coppi, a legend in professional cycling, is holding a 10-minute lead at the cycle race in Milan San Remo. At the Piazza Dante in Imperia he gets off his bike, causing the crowd to freak out, walks into the Caffè Pasticceria Piccardo, orders an espresso, drinks it, pays (!), and wins the race with no less than a 14 minute lead. Unbelievable? But true (as far as our research goes). Because:
As recent studies show, coffee or rather the caffeine that it contains delays the feeling of exhaustion, because it keeps the adrenaline longer available in the body. Moreover, caffeine ensures that fatty acids are used as an energy source rather than muscle glycogen – which is especially appreciated by endurance athletes. But the coffee and its caffeine are also useful after the training (or the race): The glycogen reserves are replenished faster, when caffeine is consumed together with carbs.
According to the scientist Nanci S. Guest and her colleagues from the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto, doses of 3-6 mg/kg body mass are supposed to show the highest results in terms of improved exercise performance.*
One espresso contains 25-50 milligram caffeine and takes effect after 30-45 minutes. With this in mind, remember to fill up your thermos for your next bike tour. Eventually, it does not only make you fit, but it also tastes amazing.
By the way, coffee has even more great effects. Like lightning up your mood – demonstrably. Check out the article “Good coffee, good mood”. Enough reason to prepare the next espresso…