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Take two cups and call me in the morning

Comments (6)
By Peter Hadzipetros

Ah, caffeine. Wouldn't start a day without it. Helps chase away the sleepies and ease you into your day. It's Canada's drug of choice: as many as 80 per cent of us will have some caffeine at some point during every day of our lives.

While the medical experts agree that too much caffeine can do bad things to you (disturb your sleep, leave you anxious, jittery, restless and play with your heartbeat), an increasing number of studies are showing that it may be beneficial.

Coffee might dramatically decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, may reduce the risk of Parkinson's Disease and may help premature babies get through their first days of life.

Now another study's come along that says caffeine may be just the thing to ease post-workout pain.

Not just any workout. But those tough muscle-beating efforts like running downhill or lowering a weight during a bicep curl. Those types of movements involve "eccentric contraction" of the muscles, which means your muscle is exerting a force while it's being lengthened. You won't feel sore right after the workout. But you'll come down with delayed-onset muscle soreness — a day or two later.

The study looked at the effects of a caffeine supplement on delayed muscle pain in nine young women. Overall, they reported less pain in the days following their workout when they took a supplement, which contained about the same amount of caffeine as two cups of coffee.

Caffeine blocks the activity of a chemical in your body called adenosine. It's why caffeine can make you feel more alert. Adenosine can also activate pain receptors in body cells, but if its activity is blocked, you won't feel as much pain.

The study's authors aren't ready to advise exercisers to down a jug of java before every hard workout. It's a matter of balance, they say. You don't want nausea, heart palpitations and dizziness to hit you before you hit the elliptical.

The study, by the way, was published in The Journal of Pain, which, oddly enough, is what I call my marathon training log. Except it's not peer reviewed.

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Comments (6)

gettingpaidforthis

canada

To NUGGz:

I hear anabolic steroids and HGH work well....

Posted July 2, 2008 02:51 PM

NUGGz

ML

Interesting...So correct me If I'm wrong, Coffee as in Caffeine, builds momentum, increases your alertness, and will actually aid you as a workout drug?...I just started to work out/cardio...and I need to speed up my goal in acheiving my satisfaction. Coffee would help? Any other recomendation?

Posted February 6, 2007 09:21 AM

Jacqui

Victoria

Vindication! I always knew it had to be good for you. And all those poor people drinking just water with absolutely no goodness in it at all.

Posted January 22, 2007 03:07 PM

Matthew Dorrance

Ottawa

The way the results of this test have been presented in this blog, it makes me wonder how effective the results will be in helping anyone who plays sports or exercise. Why? Well, even if there is a reduction in the amount of pain reported by test subjects, that does not go as far as suggesting that my muscles will benefit from drinking caffeine after exercise. Does this actually allow muscles to heal faster? Doesn't look like it. Might as well take some painkillers instead...

Posted January 22, 2007 02:52 PM

Brant Boucher

Two cups of coffee and a slice of cheesecake instead of exercise will not only reduce the pain of exercise by 110%, but actually reduce the pain of people in your immediate neighbourhood for up to three hours after you eat.

Posted January 22, 2007 12:49 PM

mike heit

Victoria

...effects of a caffeine supplement on delayed muscle pain in nine young women...
How does a study with only 9 subjects using a criteria of'.. I felt less sore"" make the news?
This is worse than 2 guys arguing Molson gives less hangover than Labats.

Posted January 20, 2007 09:46 PM

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About the Author

Peter HadzipetrosPeter Hadzipetros is a producer for the Consumer and Health sites of CBC News Online. Until he got off the couch and got into long distance running a few years ago, he was a net importer of calories.

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Recent Comments

To NUGGz: I hear anabolic steroids and HGH work w...
Take two cups and call me in the morning
Interesting...So correct me If I'm wrong, Coffee as in Ca...
Take two cups and call me in the morning
Vindication! I always knew it had to be good for you. And...
Take two cups and call me in the morning
The way the results of this test have been presented in t...
Take two cups and call me in the morning
Two cups of coffee and a slice of cheesecake instead of e...
Take two cups and call me in the morning

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