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Tags: muscle | strength | caffeine

Caffeine Boosts Muscle Power

Monday, 02 July 2012 10:26 AM EDT

That morning cup of coffee boosts more than your energy level. New research shows caffeine pumps up muscle power in adults, suggesting it could help seniors maintain their strength and reduce their risk of falls and injuries as they age.
The study, presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting this week, found the stimulant enhances muscle power in adults and may counteract the natural decline in strength that comes with age.
Although the research, conducted by sports scientists at Coventry University, involved laboratory experiments on mice, the findings have significant implications for people, too.
The researchers isolated muscles from mice ranging in age from juvenile to elderly, then tested their performance before and after caffeine treatment. They looked at two different skeletal muscles – those involving the diaphragm, a core muscle used for respiration, and a leg muscle used for walking.
Jason Tallis, the study's primary researcher, said the experiments showed caffeine had its greatest impacts on adult mice “in the prime of life,” and was less effective in boosting power and strength in the very young and very old.
"Despite a reduced effect in the elderly [and young], caffeine may still provide performance-enhancing benefits," he said. "With the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle to preserve health and functional capacity, the performance-enhancing benefit of caffeine could prove beneficial in the aging population."
Researchers noted the decline in muscle strength that occurs as we age contributes to injuries and reduces quality of life. That’s why preserving muscle tone is key to maintaining health later in life.

© HealthDay

Coffee pumps up muscle strength and may help seniors reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:26 AM
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