Did you know that caffeine was once a restricted substance for athletes as it was thought to cause dehydration? However, more modern research shows that a shot of caffeine before training might help you nail your best running time! In fact, many of the world’s athletes include caffeine as a vital part of their pre-race rituals as the substance has many hidden endurance benefits. Want to know more? Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of caffeine for runners.

Of course, most runners don’t have the time to brew a quick cup of coffee before or during their run so many professionals look to more on-the-go caffeine options to help them through their training sessions and on race day. Lucy Charles, winner of Ironman African Championships 2018, says the caffeine and carbs in Red Bull give her body the energy to push and race to her full potential. Not just for night owls and students, a quick caffeine source like Red Bull can give you the extra edge you need during a marathon

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But the benefits don’t stop there, research also shows that caffeine increases your mental alertness, boosts your mood, and encourages your desire to run harder and longer. As it turns out, caffeine is quickly absorbed into the brain and fights fatigue when you need it and consuming caffeine before a run has been shown to enhance performance and endurance.

If you’re still not convinced it’s a healthy habit to pick up perhaps the professionals can convince you –  a recent study has found that more than two-thirds of Olympic athletes use caffeine before competing but the key is to be smart with your consumption. For events shorter than 90 minutes, it is recommended that you take 75mg (roughly one 250ml Red Bull Energy Drink) before the race. If you’re competing in a race that’s 10 kilometers or longer, be careful not to consume more than 200mg of caffeine (around 2 cups of coffee) as it may increase your risk of cardiac incidents.

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