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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You love your coffee. You drink it to stay awake and ~ insert various benefits of caffeine here. ~
But are you getting the bang for the cup?
There are many ways to get the most of your caffeine fix. But contrary to popular belief, benefiting from caffeine is NOT about quantity. In fact, going overboard with your cup of coffee can throw you off into jitter-town.
It’s all about HOW you consume caffeine. The good news is that you can always hack your way into your best caffeinated self.
Curious? Well here are some power tips to becoming a caffeine ninja.
Caffeine does more than just wake you up. It’s the most widely used stimulant/substance/drug (however way you want to call it) for getting that familiar jolt in the morning, the kick that you need to jumpstart the day.
Every day, millions of people all around the world consume caffeine to stay awake and ease fatigue. But there’s definitely more to it than just a fix.
While it usually gets bad rap for its adverse effects like jitters, anxiety, palpitations (usually from having too much of it too soon), moderate consumption can give you the best bang for the cup.
Here are 7 surprising ways caffeine brings benefits to our day-to-day.