Caffeine is a recognised trade tool of the cyclist. “It’s a mild central nervous system stimulant that prompts the release of adrenaline for energy,” said the British Coffee Association. This makes it perfect for endurance sports.
Sports nutritionist Tim Lawson (Secret Training Ltd, previously of Science in Sport), says that “caffeine by itself can promote fat metabolism and retain muscle glycogen”, so a black coffee before a fasted ride in the morning may increase the amount of fat you burn.
However, an over-reliance on caffeine can compromise your sleep quality, “which will alter hormone levels and reduce your ability to process carbohydrates, possibly sending you on a downward spiral. Instead, go carefully with caffeine to really get the beneﬁt when you need it,” he advises.