Scientists from the Department of Physiology of the University of Granada (UGR) have shown that caffeine (about 3 mg/kg, the equivalent of a strong coffee) ingested half an hour before aerobic exercise significantly increases the rate of fat-burning. They also found that if the exercise is performed in the afternoon, the effects of the caffeine are more marked than in the morning.

In their study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the researchers aimed to determine whether caffeine–one of the most commonly-consumed ergogenic substances in the world to improve sports performance–actually does increase oxidation or “burning” of fat during exercise.

Maximum fat oxidation

The results of our study showed that acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before performing an aerobic exercise test increased maximum fat oxidation during exercise regardless of the time of day. The fat oxidation was higher in the afternoon than in the morning.

These results also show that caffeine increases fat oxidation during morning exercise in a similar way to that observed without caffeine intake in the afternoon.

In summary, the findings of this study suggest that the combination of acute caffeine intake and aerobic exercise performed at moderate intensity in the afternoon provides the optimal scenario for people seeking to increase fat-burning during physical exercise.

Reports have indicated that COVID-19 may cause heart damage in hospitalized patients with severe cases of the disease, but it’s unclear whether cardiac injury also occurs in infected patients who are asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms. This question is of particular concern for athletes because myocarditis–inflammation in the heart usually caused by viral infection–can cause sudden cardiac death during exercise. In a special report published in JAMA Cardiology, a group led by sports cardiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Emory University School of Medicine offers guidance for athletes’ return to play after they have recovered from COVID-19.

The researchers observed that athletes infected with COVID-19 who experienced no or mild symptoms did not exhibit signs of heart injury. For such athletes, they do not recommend detailed cardiac screening. The prevalence of cardiac injury in athletes who were infected with COVID-19 is still unknown, however, and the team believes it’s prudent to screen for heart damage in athletes with moderate to severe symptoms. The experts also note that despite recent small studies showing that cardiac magnetic resonance imaging has detected potential cardiac abnormalities in individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, they feel that current evidence doesn’t justify its use as a universal screening tool for athletes’ return to play.

Myocarditis
mobility exercises

Mobility training helps develop a full range of motion in your legs. It also plays a crucial role in injury prevention and generally improves joint and muscle health.

Starting with Mobility Exercises

When starting, I suggest a Build from the Base approach. The exercises below are in that order.  Start with Foot Doming and progress up the body to the hips. Start with 10 minutes a day, every day, until you have done all the exercises a few days later.

When you have mastered all the exercises, you may start increasing your sets and load.

Cultivating a daily mobility practice will enable you to resolve recurring issues before an injury occurs.

When building up to long-distance, we need to avoid layering strength on top of movement dysfunction.

Start with this basic approach if you have no existing problem areas.

Focus on Problem Areas

If you suffer from recurring running injuries, start by focusing on the problem area. Not only there, but also the parts above and below the problem. When you have sufficiently recovered, you can start with the basic approach.

ExerciseProblem Area/s
Foot DomingFoot, Ankle
Toe ResistanceBunion, Foot, Ankle
Heel DropFoot, Heel, Achilles
Ankle TurnAnkle, Calf, Shin
Hip HikeKnee, ITB, Hip, Glutes, Core
Step DownKnee, Quads, Hip
Step UpQuads, Glutes
Hip RotationHip, Core
Hip ExtensionGlutes
Back ExtensionHip, Glutes, Core, Back, Spine, Shoulders
Mobility Exercises (Click on the exercise for the detail.)