Caffeine and Sports Performance Essay

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Caffeine and Sports Performance Caffeine is a mild stimulant that occurs naturally in at least 63 plant species. Caffeine can be found in the leaves, stems, seeds, and roots of these various plants. Caffeine is part of the methylxanthine family. It consists of a xanthine molecule with three methyl groups attached to it. Caffeine can be found in many products like sodas, tea, and coffee, but it also occurs in several other products such as prescription medications, diuretics, and pain relievers. Caffeine’s widespread use and popularity have caused many people to view the substance as an addictive drug. Thus making caffeine the most inexpensive and readily available drug known to man. Then on the other hand there are…show more content…
(Graham, 1998) This shows the importance of caffeine in endurance sports such as cycling, running, and soccer which require a great deal of physical stamina in order to compete successfully. Studies also show that caffeine has very little affect on athletes requiring quick burst of energy such as sprinters and swimmers. Also caffeine has been known to decrease fatigue in athletes, which plays a physical as well as psychological role in the performance of an athlete. Caffeine’s mental appeal is just as trendy as its physical purpose. Caffeine has been proven to stimulate the central nervous system. Caffeine stimulates the Central Nervous System at high levels, like the medulla and cortex, and even has the ability to reach the spinal cord in larger doses. The effect of caffeine in the cortex is a clearer thought process and also can rid the body of fatigue. This gives people a greater ability of concentration for 1-3 hours. For athletes competing in sports where quick thinking and rapid reactions are necessary, caffeine can provide a huge edge. However, these results are much more inconsistent than the experiments done on caffeine in endurance sports. (http://www.garynull.com/Documents/CaffeineEffects.htm) How caffeine works, in theory In athletics three theories have been presented that support caffeine’s use
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