Caffeine Gets Your Arms Pumping

October 21, 2013

Research has shown that caffeine makes an effective pre-workout performance enhancer whether you're engaging in short or extended duration running or cycling. But arm muscle metabolism differs from leg muscles. A study recently published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise takes upper body effort into consideration with a test involving 10 experienced cross-country skiers.

When applying the double-poling technique, the arms of cross country skiers provide speed-generating force. Obviously, arm strength and muscular endurance are going to be critical factors in success. To see if caffeine could help, scientists had subjects consume 6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight or a placebo before an 8 km race.

Not only did caffeinated subject report a lower rate of perceived exertion, they finished the race an average of one minute and 25 seconds faster than when racing on placebo. How much caffeine did they use? A 160 pound competitor would have received 438 mg of caffeine. To see how much it takes to increase muscular force and power for the bench press and squat, read today's Breaking News post at