What's Cool In Road Cycling

Coffee Only Marginally Improves Cyclist Performance, Study Says

As we all know, coffee – and caffeine, in general – is a major part of cycling culture. While there is some debate on whether it’s better to have it before or after a ride, the important part is to have it. Some even think of it as a performance enhancer capable of making rides more effective. But, unfortunately, this is not true, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Coffee makes the world go round

Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks in the world, second only to tea (and, obviously, water) – statistics say that around 80% of the world’s population drinks it in one form or another. For some, taking the first sip of freshly brewed coffee in the morning is one of the highlights of their day. There’s something magical about starting your day with a steaming cup of this refreshing drink while catching up on the news or playing a few spins at your favorite online casino game. And it’s not just the caffeine that helps you start your day, it’s also the ritual of brewing a fresh pot, pouring yourself a cup, heading over to Spin Casino and trying your luck while slowly sipping away.

Research suggests, in turn, that athletes – cyclists included – widely consume caffeine in one form or another (mostly coffee) ahead of competitions, probably hoping to improve their performance.

 Minimal effects

Now, in turn, a pair of British scientists have proven that the effects of caffeine on your performance are minimal at best. Their study involved a total of 46 cyclists (27 men and 19 women), some of them habitual coffee drinkers, who drank coffee ahead of a 5km time trial. The research shows that their performance did improve but the improvement was minimal – under 2% compared to the “unmedicated” run, which is, statistically speaking, insignificant. While their research did confirm that the athletes’ neuromuscular performance did improve after consuming caffeine but the improvement was marginal at best.

Should you give up your pre- or post-ride cup?

Of course not! Even if the measurable benefits on your performance are minimal, every bit counts. And for most of us, the improved performance is not the reason we have our pre- or post-ride cup anyway – it is the way it makes us feel, either prepared to face the world or rewarded for our effort.


Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.