My kind of recovery
- July 3, 2008 9:27 AM |
- By Peter Hadzipetros
It's been something of a typical afternoon here at the office. A second cup of coffee washing down a couple of bits of carbs from that coffee and donut shop across the street, a few hours after eating a lunch that contained a heaping helping of noodles.
Those carbs and that caffeine help me get ready for that commute home — a 13-kilometre or so run along Toronto's waterfront.
Caffeine, the science explains, offers the athlete the same boost as it does every sleepy-eyed person who tries to drag him or herself out of bed on a Monday morning. And carbs are what fuels your muscles.
Turns out I may have it all backwards.
A new study suggests that caffeine and carbs may be a better combination after your workout. Helps the body recover and get ready for your next exercise session, say Australian researchers.
They studied a small group of cyclists and found that four hours after an intense workout, the athletes who had ingested caffeine beverages had higher levels of blood glucose and insulin, as well as 66 per cent more glycogen, than those who drank a carb-only beverage. The caffeinated drink had caffeine levels equal to five or six cups of coffee.
"If you have 66 per cent more fuel for the next day's training or competition, there is absolutely no question you will go farther or faster," the study's senior author, Dr. John Hawley, said in a release.
The study did not explain how caffeine helps the muscles absorb more glycogen.
This could explain why you'll sometimes come across groups of runners or cyclists in your local coffee shop late on any given Sunday morning. It's the day of the week most of them prefer for their longest runs or rides. And sitting with your friends over a cup or so of java seems to help ease any lingering aches and pains from pushing your body more than usual.
And perhaps by adding something loaded with carbs to that post-run routine, I'll have enough energy — once I get home — to make it to the backyard and my hammock for a proper recovery.
All News blogs
Back of the Pack
- The rewards and risks of extreme exercise
- It's rare that someone dies running a marathon or half marathon. Extraordinarily rare when three people die. Yet that's what happened in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009. Within 16 minutes, three men collapsed and died while running the half marathon... Continue reading this post
- The golden age of running
- For those of us who like to lace up a pair of over-priced running shoes and move one foot in front of the other a little more quickly than most people would like to, this is the best time of... Continue reading this post
- Late night calories could pack bigger punch for your paunch
- We've all pretty much accepted the notion that if we burn as many calories as we consume, our weight will remain stable. Add some exercise to the mix and your body will burn more than it takes in and you'll... Continue reading this post