Caffeine and carbohydrate mix can improve endurance, skill and performance
Caffeinated drinks might be better option than sports drinks
A combination of coffee and toast can boost your ability on the rugby pitch, say scientists.
It has long been known that caffeine and carbohydrates can improve endurance but this is the first time that they have been shown to have a positive effect on skill and performance.
A team from Sheffield Hallam University asked eight 18-22-year-old volunteers to play three simulated soccer ‘matches’ designed to test agility, dribbling, heading and kicking accuracy.
For the first match participants were given a coloured liquid with no caffeine or carbs, for the second they were given a drink containing just caffeine and for the third they were provided with liquid containing both caffeine and carbs.
Results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that the caffeine and carb mix gave the best results, improving the speed and accuracy of players.
Lead researcher Mayur Ranchordas said: ‘We found that the combination of carbohydrate and caffeine allowed players to sustain higher work intensity for the sprints, as well as improving shooting accuracy and dribbling during simulated soccer activity.
‘What we found suggests that if caffeine and carbs improve the skill and endurance of people playing football, it may also benefit other sporting events too. ‘