Some of our favorite athletes are just like us – they have their everyday caffeine regimen and love it.
But did you know that some athletes don’t just have it as part of their morning routine? They also use it to boost sports performance.
In fact, three-fourths of the world’s elite athletes take advantage of caffeine’s performance-enhancing properties. For instance, former Scottish cyclist Chris Hoy, six-time gold medalist, used to bring his own coffee paraphernalia to every competition, including the 2012 London Games. 
Cyclist and six-time gold medalist Chris Hoy preparing for action (credits: chrishoy.com)
But have athletes always been allowed to have their caffeine fix, especially right before the sport?
If so, how much are they allowed to consume?
We’re familiar with what caffeine does. It’s a pick-me-upper. It helps us stay awake and alert. It ‘wires’ us up.
But some athletes and their performance entourage have taken this to a whole another level. They tap into caffeine’s “ergogenic” properties that enhance speed and stamina. 
Take it from Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times:
“Caffeine improves athletic performance. This is a truth almost universally acknowledged in exercise science.” 
Maria Sharapova in her morning coffee run (credits: Zimbio.com)
Caffeine’s perks include delaying feelings of fatigue and preventing sleep brought about by the binding of brain receptors into sleep-inducing neurotransmitter, adenosine.  Bodes well for globe-trotting athletes when they face this monster called jetlag!
It also aids “short-term, intense activities and improves endurance athletes’ times by up to 3 percent—a margin that could certainly matter in Olympic-caliber competition,” according to an article by Men’s Health on the subject. 
For many years, science has backed up caffeine’s big role in improving physical performance. Many athletes and their health teams believe that easing off on it days before the sporting event will boost performance.
But this new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology reports that athletes don’t really have to abstain from it. In fact, there’s no notable difference between drinking coffee days prior to the event and right before the gun start. 
According to Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition at the University of Sao Paulo, who conducted the study:
“No matter the habitual caffeine intake in the diet, acute caffeine supplementation can improve performance.” 
Sounds like an Olympic win-win for coffee-loving athletes!
Did you know that Olympic officials used to restrict caffeine consumption? They first banned caffeine in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games and only allowed it back in 2004.
From 1984 to 2004, if athletes’ urine contained more than 12 micrograms per milliliter of caffeine, then they have a problem.
But this limit is in itself a problem for three reasons:
So the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided to remove caffeine from the list of prohibited substances.
Fast forward to the present and athletes enjoy happy days. They’ve been free to drink coffee, down energy drinks, pop a caffeine mint, or chew caffeinated gum for an added boost.
While there have been recent reports about WADA reinstating caffeine in the restricted list, there has been no major changes of late to the said list. 
Caffeine is still in the WADA watch list for 2018 though, so coffee-loving athletes aren’t totally in the clear. 
Some institutions still impose limits as well.
The NCAA only allows caffeine intake among college athletes to 15 micrograms per milliliter, equivalent to six to eight cups of coffee within two to three hours before a competition. 
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Considered as supplements, these are your caffeine fix taken in capsule form. They may have natural caffeine straight from the brewing process, while others may have synthetic or artificial caffeine.
Caffeine pills provide the same stimulating benefits as coffee and other caffeine beverages.
Note that caffeine pills aren’t exactly those caffeine powder you see in bulk from the retail stores. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA considers caffeine powder as “potentially dangerous.”  Caffeine pills are generally safe, though there are some precautions to note, which we’ll talk about later.
If you’re trying to lose weight (or at least not gain a few extra pounds), then the best thing to do is eat healthy and go to the gym more religiously, right?
But if you’ve been going at it for a while now and haven’t been seeing much progress, then you may want to look into something else.
Like your coffee consumption.
Now you may ask: what does an innocent cup of joe have to do with weight gain?
Let me tell you.
It’s not as innocent as it seem.
That cup of coffee you buy on your way to work? It may be sneaking in a few extra calories (more than you’d like and expect). And if you buy more than one cup a day, you may be racking up a few calories from a “dessert” that disguises itself as your go-to caffeine fix.
The holidays are upon us. It’s only October but with the rate this year has gotten to the tail-end, we’ll all be wearing our favorite sweatshirts (forcibly or otherwise) and devouring the holiday away in no time.
The forward-looking you will already be starting to watch that *extra holiday weight* before the holiday even starts.
But one step at a time, right? After all, there’s a few weeks left before the celebrations and holiday parties officially kick in.
If the java lover in you has ever been curious whether caffeine can help curb the appetite, now is the perfect time to find some answers.
The word on the street is that caffeine is one of the best appetite suppressants.
Spoiler alert: researches tell us the jury’s still out on this one.