Can a Little Pre-Workout Caffeine Cure Your Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

For those of you still suffering from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after resistance training, there might be a solution for you in the form of pre-workout caffeine. A recent paper by Hurley, Hatfield, and Riebe in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Hurley. 2013) found that around 400mg of caffeine helped in reducing some of the soreness, added exertion and drops in performance typically experienced with DOMS.

To test this, they had 12 healthy resistance-trained males (ages 18-25) perform a 4 x 10 set of preacher curls followed by a fifth failure set after consuming 5mg/kg of caffeine an hour prior to the workout. Then, after a week-long "wash-out" period, they repeated the workout without caffeine. The chart below shows the promising effect the 2-3 cups of coffee had on DOMS and recovery.

    Figure 1: Soreness values expressed relative to baseline testing (left) CK levels after the training session and number of repetitions on the all-out set (right; Hurley. 2013)

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    • Nathan Kan
    • CaffeineDOMSPerformanceResistance TrainingSorenessTraining

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