High doses of caffeine can increase muscle power and endurance, researchers from Coventry University said in a news release.
The scientists said the work could have an impact on how caffeine is used in sports.
"A small increase in performance via caffeine could mean the difference between a gold medal in the Olympics and an also-ran", said lead researcher Dr. Rob James.
Caffeine is not currently listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a banned substance, according to a news release on the new study. Before 2004, there was a level of caffeine athletes could not exceed.
The study tested muscle use in mice at both maximal and sub-maximal levels. Maximal is efforts such as sprinting or weight lifting; sub-maximal covers everyday activity and sports at lower intensities.
A high does of caffeine boosted performance by about 6 percent during both types of activities. Researchers said that effect could be similar in people.te3s4i0 firstname.lastname@example.org te3s4i0