Caffeine Eases Post-Exercise Pain

A new study published in the Journal of Pain has found that even moderate amounts of caffeine after exercising may lead to a “large reduction in pain.” As little as two cups of brewed coffee may produce a 48 percent reduction in post-workout soreness.

Researchers at the University of Georgia’s Department of Kinesiology believe that the “finding may improve the quality of life of individuals who experience skeletal muscle pain” after engaging in what they call “eccentric exercise,” defined as “when skeletal muscles produce force while being lengthened.”

Scientists used a dosage of 5 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight as their default setting and put subjects through “64 eccentric actions of the dominant quadriceps induced by electrical stimulation” in order to determine the effects of caffeine on delayed-onset muscle pain intensity.

The study included a small sampling of nine college-aged women who were not regular consumers of caffeine. Each was given either a dose of caffeine or a placebo in the day or two following exercise. One hour after being given their doses, their muscles were tested engaging in mild exercise in order to determine the muscles’ loss of force.

Because of the small size of the sampling, the results may not necessarily apply to men or to regular caffeine consumers. The Journal of Pain is published by the American Pain Society.

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