6th May 04:59
Caffeine reduces muscle pain from exercise (exercise aspirin)
Caffeine reduces muscle pain from exercise
16/09/03 - Drinking a cup of coffee is more likely to reduce muscle pain
during a workout than taking an aspirin, suggests a small study from the
Researchers at the University of Ge****a found that caffeine reduced
thigh muscle pain during cycling exercise. The natural ingredient is
added to many sports nutrition products as it has been shown to 'enhance
performance'. This effect could however be a result of its pain
inhibiting role, suggest the scientists. The same team has also
previously shown that aspirin, though commonly used to treat muscle
pain, did not reduce muscle pain produced by vigorous exercise.
"Muscle contractions produce a host of biochemicals that can stimulate
pain. Aspirin blocks only one of those chemicals," said Patrick
O'Connor, professor of exercise science in UGA's College of Education.
"Apparently the biochemical blocked by aspirin has little role in
exercise-induced muscle pain."
In the study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Pain, 16
non-smoking young adult men, cycled for 30 minutes on two separate days.
The exercise intensity was the same on both days and purposefully set to
make the riders' thigh muscles hurt. Participants in the study took
either a caffeine pill or a placebo pill one hour before the exercise.
The riders reported feeling substantially less pain in their thigh
muscles after taking caffeine compared to after taking the placebo,
according to researchers. This suggests that prior reports showing that
caffeine improves endurance exercise performance might be explained
partially by caffeine's hypoalgesic properties, said O'Connor.
"Not all ****gesics or combinations [acetaminophine and caffeine] are
effective for every type of pain or every individual," he said. "Much of
this is due to biological variation among people in receptors for the
drugs as well as variation in pain receptors in different body tissues.
For instance, brain tissue has no pain receptors so surgery can be done
on the brain without anesthesia. Of course it will hurt getting through
the skin and cranium."
Caffeine also seems to work less well for heavy caffeine users whose
receptors adapt with caffeine use, O'Connor said.
"The next step is to learn how caffeine helps people feel less muscle
pain during exercise," said Robert Motl, lead author of the study and an
assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois.
"Evidence suggests that caffeine works by blocking the actions of
adenosine, however, we don't know yet whether the caffeine is acting on
muscles or the brain." Source: Journal of Pain, August 2003, vol 4, no