We’d all love a little extra pep in our step whilst out on our regular morning run, or better yet, during that half marathon you trained so hard for, but could caffeine be the key to shaving off a few minutes of your race time? Strangely caffeine was once a restricted substance for athletes, as it was thought to cause dehydration, but these days research shows that a shot of caffeine before training, or on race day might help you nail your best running time.
Not convinced? Just ask the professionals – many of the world’s top athletes use caffeine as a vital part of their pre-race rituals. Research shows that, while all-natural, caffeine as a substance has many hidden endurance benefits. But that’s not all – caffeine is quickly absorbed into the brain and research shows that it can help increases your mental alertness, boost your mood, and increase your desire to run harder and longer.
While you probably won’t have the time to grab a quick cup of coffee before or during a run you can include more convenient forms of caffeine into your pre-workout meal to ensure you get a bit of an edge while you run.
Professional athletes reach for on-the-go caffeine options to help them through their training sessions and on race day. Lucy Charles, winner of Ironman African Championships 2018, says the caffeine and carbs in an energy drink , like Red Bull give her body the energy to push and race to her full potential. If you’re keen to try it out a 250ml of Red Bull is said to be sufficient for a 90-minute race whilst those running for longer tend to mix it in their water bottles along with an ample amount of water to avoid dehydration.
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Want more motivation? Check out these 5 Healthy Habits to Help You Reach Your Health Goals.