Caffeine Use and Athletic Performance


What is caffeine? Caffeine is a stimulant. A stimulant is a type of drug that makes people more alert, and increases heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine may be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola drinks, sports drinks and foods, and some medicines. Some athletes use caffeine to improve their performance in sports activities.

How does caffeine affect an athlete's performance in sports activities?

Does caffeine cause side effects? Large amounts of caffeine may cause side effects such as stomach discomfort, shakiness, dizziness, headaches, and trouble focusing and sleeping. The amount of caffeine that would cause these side effects depends on how sensitive you are to caffeine. It also depends on how much caffeine you normally take. You may have these side effects with only one cup of coffee if you normally do not use caffeine. These side effects may be worse for you if you normally get nervous or jittery before a sports activity.

How do I know how much caffeine is right for me? Talk to your caregiver before using caffeine to improve your sports performance. It is especially important to talk with caregivers if you do not usually take caffeine.

How do I know how much caffeine is in food, drinks and medicines? Caffeine is measured in milligrams (mg). The following lists show the amount of caffeine that is found in foods, beverages and medicines. Different brands may have slightly different amounts of caffeine.




Sports drinks and foods:




You have the right to help plan your care. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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