I as an athlete have obviously tried caffeine in the hopes that it would improve my performance in training and competition. But if someone asked me if I recommend coffee/energy drinks for teen athlete, I would definitely say no. But why no? Well, let me tell you about my experience.
This was the biggest problem I found. Before one competition I had a normal coffee. It had just as much caffeine as a normal energy drink dose, 75mg. It was the biggest regret I had, as it really messed up my whole run. I started my run, but about 30 seconds later I really paid the price. I was really short of breath, which cause a lot of fatigue in my muscles. Plus at the end of my run, my hard was pounding super hard and fast.
2. Increases Stress Levels
As you may know, in most sports you have to be calm and focused before competition. Before my competition runs, I try to calm myself down and focus, which is already hard already as you are nervous. I have found out that when I have caffeine, it kicks my stress levels even higher than they already where. Consuming just one energy drink can cause potentially dangerous increase in stress hormone levels and blood pressure.
3. Stomach Upset
Lastly, I have realised that after having caffeine, I have a lot of stomach pain, which equals to extra stress. Subsequently having a can of an energy drink, the high sugar levels will make you really hyper for around 20 minutes, but after about 45 minutes you will have a sugar crash which will make you feels super sleepy and tired. That is the last thing you want.
I personally don’t recommend caffeine for teenager athletes. While the body is still growing, it doesn’t need extra stress and higher blood pressure. After that competition, I haven’t had any caffeine. However, if you do consume caffeine as a teen, just make sure you don’t have any more than 100mg at a time.