Can Caffeine Help With Sleep Deprivation?

Can Caffeine Improve Endurance Performance In A Sleep Deprived State? We all know caffeine works well when rested but what about when you are sleep deprived? EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer has your research backed answer.

Video Transcript:

Does Caffeine Improve Performance In Runners, Cyclists, OCR, And Other Endurance Athletes When Sleep Deprived?

Good afternoon, family of fast. Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite. Today, we're gonna talk about one of my favorite things again and that is caffeine, and more specifically if caffeine helps with performance when you are sleep deprived.

Caffeine Works Great When You Are Rested

Now, as a whole and when you're rested, caffeine works super-duper awesome, probably one of the most demonstrated supplements to enhance endurance performance as far as improving time to exhaustion, time trial performance, focused cognition, etcetera.

But Is It Still Effective When You Are Not Getting A Good Nights Rest?

But does caffeine work really good when you're in a sleep deprived state? Like, last night, when my daughter woke me up at 1 o'clock in the morning because she saw a ghost on the wall, and it turned out to be the smoke detector type of situation, well, yeah that kind of situation right now...or right there, excuse me. So let's look at one research study that examined the effects of caffeine on performance when individuals were sleep deprived.

What's The Research Say About Caffeine And Sleep Deprivation In Athletes?

Now, this is just one study and there is others like this, and this was done in soldiers. So there is no studies on endurance athletes per se on sleep deprivation and caffeine and performance. But this study is pretty accurate as far as what caffeine could do in terms of performance when you're sleep deprived, because it did involve some running which last I heard is an endurance sport. So here is a study,

I have it pulled up right in front of me. In this study soldiers performed a series of tasks over several days where opportunities for sleep were exceedingly diminished, meaning they're sleep deprived. Experimental challenges included a 4 or 6.3 kilometer run as well as test for marksmanship observations, reconnaissance, and psychomotor vigilance, that's a big word. During periods of sustained wakefulness, subjects were provided caffeine in the range of 600 to 800 milligrams of caffeine.

Now, that's a lot of caffeine, a lot of caffeine you want to dose 3 to 6 milligrams per kilogram body weight, so that's probably on the upper limits of caffeine, and it was taken in the form of chewing gum. The caffeine supplement was consumed in this manner as it has been shown to be more readily absorbed than if it were provided within a pill based on the proximity to the buccal tissue. So they used a gum but you could use powdered caffeine anhydrous in a situation like this.

In all three studies, so there were various studies on this, vigilance was either maintained or enhanced for caffeine conditions in comparison to placebo. And here's the important part. Additionally, physical performance measures such as run times and completion of an obstacle course, for all your obstacle course racers out there that go in sleep deprived, were also improved by the effects of caffeine consumption.

So again, this is only one study but there has been others done or similarly done to this on caffeine and sleep deprivation and performance. And for the majority of the studies it seems to be demonstrated that, yeah, and it makes sense that caffeine is gonna help you perform better when you're in a sleep deprived state.

So that is all I have for today on caffeine, sleep deprivation and performance, and I'm honestly...I'm ready for a nap. But anyways if you have a buddy who's constantly in a sleep deprived state, please share this video with them. If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition and supplementation, and other random musings, subscribe to the EndurElite YouTube channel or head on over to the EndurElite blog at Get social with us on Instaslam and Facebook. And until next time my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused, and stay fast.