Caffeine for Sports Performance

Caffeine for Sports Performance

by Louise Burke, Ben Desbrow
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Caffeine for Sports Performance 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
penandtome More than 1 year ago
This volume purports to separate fact from fiction regarding the titular substance, a stimulant found naturally in such plant products as coffee beans, cocoa pods, cola nuts and tea leaves. The writing team consists of a sports dietician with close to three decades of experience (Burke) and two academics long involved in athletic/nutrition research (Desbrow and Spriet). Strong points of the book include a reliance on the scientific literature regarding the effects of caffeine on sports performance, a detailed listing of said literature, and a concluding “Bottom Line” section to each chapter that summarizes the foregoing discussion. Weak points are vague attribution (many quotes do not name sources, but rather list titles or positions, such as “coach” or “Olympic endurance athlete”), and, this is the deal breaker, far too much content has little to no bearing on the central question of what caffeine does or does not do for the athlete. Chapter 2, “How Caffeine Works,” is a case in point. Essentially a lesson in biochemistry, the authors practically admit that this is so much filler when they state point blank: “Please bear with us or simply skip this chapter” (page 7). There is no need for the reader to remain in suspense. The “Bottom Line” of Chapter 5, “Effectiveness,” states “…there is evidence that caffeine supplementation can improve performance or the outcomes of a range of sporting events, particularly those involving a prolonged duration of sustained or intermittent efforts” (page 78). Considering the fact that the human race has been imbibing the Big C for a couple of hundred years precisely for its energizing qualities, that’s not exactly a news flash. Here is this reviewer’s own bottom line: get yourself a mug of mud instead of this book. Why spend the dough for what you already know?