Put the kettle on, fill your mug and settle in for some good news: researchers at Chonbuk National University have found a foolproof method of hacking your cardio endurance, one that will help you hit a PB without the need for newfangled breath trainers or a flight (eventually) to an Ethiopian training camp.
It’s already well known that a shot of espresso will give your performance a jolt. Caffeine not only counteracts the metabolism- slowing effects of adenosine – an organic compound that naturally builds up in your body to create feelings of tiredness – but it also makes your cells more sensitive to hormones such as adrenalin. As a result, your muscles are able to work harder for longer.
However, the South Korean researchers have discovered that while caffeine alone does boost endurance, the results are far more dramatic when you preload with a combination of caffeine and L-carnitine – a compound that you can pick up as a simple capsule on most supplement websites.
In basic terms, L-carnitine encourages your cells to absorb fatty acids and convert them into energy. Test subjects who were given this cocktail were able to cycle at 80% of their VO2 max on a stationary bike for twice as long as members of the control group, who were given nothing. That makes this one-two combo an impressive performance-enhancer for your next race day but, importantly, it will also make going further and faster on your training runs easier during the week, too.
So, lace up and power through extra speed sessions while increasing your mileage. All you need to do is take a shot.
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