It’s more complicated than you may think.
Caffeine has been consistently shown to improve athletic performance, and its consumption has been subjected to ongoing scrutiny for elite athletes.
Today, Olympic athletes are permitted to enjoy a cup of coffee before competing. But between 1984-2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned high concentrations of caffeine from all Olympic events.
“Caffeine improves athletic performance. This is a truth almost universally acknowledged in exercise science.” — Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times
Drinking caffeinated coffee has been scientifically linked to improved physical performance. And for years, many scientists, coaches, and athletes believed that an athlete had to abstain for days or weeks before an event to gain a boost.
But a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that these ideas about caffeine and athletic performance are outdated.