Eyes feel strained after your work-out? Drink coffee!
A recent study at the University of Auckland in New Zealand has shown that coffee could help prevent exercise-induced eye fatigue. Vigorous exercise can lower the central nervous system’s ability to drive muscle function, resulting in what is known as central fatigue. Central fatigue usually affects limb movement, but it is unclear whether it impacts other motor systems, such as those involved in eye movement.
But how can coffee help?
Dr. Nicholas Gant and his colleagues, from the University of Auckland, got 11 well-trained cyclists to use exercise bikes for 3 hours. Some of them consumed a caffeine dose equivalent to 2 cups of coffee, while the others were given a decaffeinated placebo solution. When they were finished cycling, all participants had their eye movement tested with a head-fixed eye-tracking system.
The study showed that those who had taken the caffeine solution had their impaired eye movement restored.
“The researchers found that participants who consumed the caffeinated beverages saw their neurotransmitter balance restored, which improved their rapid eye movements. No such effect was found among subjects who drank the decaffeinated solution.”
Dr. Gant commented “Interestingly, the areas of the brain that process visual information are robust to fatigue. It’s the pathways that control eye movements that seem to be our weakest link. These results are important because our eyes must move quickly to capture new information. But there’s hope for coffee drinkers because this visual impairment can be prevented by consuming caffeine.”
You can read more on the study by clicking here.