Thursday, January 11, 2007

Two cups of coffee may ward of post-workout soreness

Originally Posted on : 2007-01-11 | Author : Paula Cussons

The downside of exercising is often sore muscles, which discourages people from having a really good workout. But now researchers from the University of Georgia may have found a way to bypass this as a new study suggests that drinking moderate amounts of coffee after exercising could help overcome this soreness.

These findings hold relevance to people who are new to workouts as they are the ones who experience the most soreness. “If you can use caffeine to reduce the pain, it may make it easier to transition from that first week into a much longer exercise program,” said lead researcher Victor Maridakis.

The study involved nine female college students who were not regular coffee drinkers. These students were not regular to exercise either. The researchers allowed them to have moderate workouts for the first two days before beginning the experiment.

The students were randomly given either caffeine or a placebo after a regular workout session. Thereafter they were asked to do a couple of thigh muscle exercises, which required a maximum stretching effect on the thigh.

Those who drank caffeine one hour before the second exercise had a 48 percent reduction in soreness as compared to those who took a placebo, the researchers reported. Co-author Patrick O'Connor said that it was likely that caffeine blocked the adenosine receptor, which is a byproduct of inflammation.

However the study is very small and since it involved only young females, the results are not deemed conclusive. "It can reduce pain," Maridakis agreed, "but you have to apply some common sense and not go overboard."

The details of the study will appear in the February issue of The Journal of Pain.

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