The alarm goes off. It’s time for your pre-work training session. But before you can think about which shoes lace up or how many layers you need, you’re thinking about one thing… Coffee!
For many of us, the promise of steaming hot cup might be the only thing that gets us out from under those warm covers. That boost caffeine before a morning training session or race isn’t optional… it’s a requirement as fundamental as running shoes or a helmet.
And this is actually for a good reason! For years, research has reinforced the theory that caffeine is not just something that gets us out of bed, but it can actually contribute to better performance during a ride or run.
Studies have found that caffeine can stimulate your central nervous system, which can decrease perception of pain or effort during exercise. In addition to these effects, caffeine also has the ability to spare your glycogen stores, which helps you save your body’s fuel for later. (For more reading on this topic, check out the American College of Sports Medicine’s paper on caffeine and exercise.)
While many athletes can’t imaging exercising without caffeine, we also know that some athletes like to avoid caffeine in their sports nutrition. That’s why we are careful to include caffeine free flavors in each of our product lines. When we do add caffeine to our products, we always use green tea extract because it’s a natural source.
If you’re ever looking for an alternative to your morning cup-of-Joe on a cold day, you should try making hot Lemon Tea Hydration Drink Mix. It’s delicious and will give you both a boost from caffeine and light carbohydrates. Click here to find out which of your favorite GU products are fortified with caffeine.