Want to be a better rugby player? Why a cup of coffee and slice of toast can boost your performance on the pitch

  • 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. ‘


Coffee: Nescafe Gold – NESCAFÉ is produced with 100% coffee beans, nothing else
BreadWarburtons wholemeal – A deliciously soft wholemeal bread, made with 100% wholemeal flour.
Spread: Bertolli original spread – Enjoy a taste of Mediterranean olive oil goodness with Bertolli. Contains 74% less saturated fat than butter. 

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