Caffeine for performance in life and sport.
Today I am going to be talking about one of the oldest performance-enhancing substances know to man Caffeine. Caffeine in one shape or form is used by 90% of the world's population that's 6.7 billion people! And has been used by people as far back as the 15th century in coffee.
Not everyone has caffeine to gain that extra edge in there give sport or activity, for some it is part of their daily morning ritual, some to help get them through a tough day at work or staying up late to hit that deadline and for some it's just a force of habit or culture.
But if you are reading this you most likely looking to see what athletic or sporting edge Caffeine can give you. Whether it's shaving 0.5 seconds of a run time or putting that extra 2kg on the bar.
In this article we will be going through the What, Why and How of how best to use caffeine to help gain that extra edge we are all looking for.
What is Caffeine
Caffeine as a stand-alone substance was first isolated in 1819 by Friedlieb Runge. It is a powerful stimulant, that has been proven to improve physical strength and endurance. It is also seen as a nootropic because of its mental stimulation effects.
Most of the caffeine we consume today whether it's in your favourite energy drink, pre-workout or pill form is extracted from plants during the process of decaffeinating either coffee or tea But can also be synthesized in a laboratory.
Why use Caffeine
Caffeine has a whole host of positive benefits on health and performance ranging from,
Endurance athletes improved performance by an average of 3.3 percent (some reported up to 17 percent increases).
Strength and power sports performance improved up to 20 percent.
Sprinters improved performance on average by 6.5 percent.
Weightlifters improved performance on average by 9.5 percent.
Rate of perceived exertion (fatigue) is decreased by 6 percent on average
Reduced risk of Alzheimer's, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
It is shown to achieve this by
Promoting spinal cord excitability
Increasing muscle fibre recruitment
While decreasing perceptions of fatigue and muscle pain
It's been demonstrated to improve physical performance in all manner of sports while also delaying mental fatigue.
How to use Caffeine
Peoples tolerances to caffeine are at different levels so the dose you take should be individualised to you.
If you are new to caffeine supplements, it is recommended to start at around the 100mg mark and gauge your reaction to it then if needed increase or decrease as needed.
Typically, 200 mg of caffeine is used to enlist a fat-burning effect, to get strength increasing effect higher doses of around 500 mg and above is required.
Researchers tend to use a dosage range of 4-6mg/kg body weight
It also makes little to no difference if you drink or take your caffeine in pill form on getting that athletic performance boost.
Caffeine levels in your bloodstream peak at around 60-90 minutes after consumption. With this in mind, you should look take it 1-2 hours before your training, event or task you are to partake in.
There are many ways of getting your daily fix of caffeine running around your body. For most athletes, the main source will be a pre-workout, strong coffee or energy drink (my personal favourite)
When using pre-workouts always check it has the right dose of caffeine for you as some come way over the needed dose and can cause more harm than good to your performance, as the body will have a limit to how much caffeine it is able to use. The old more is better does not apply here as studies have shown that too much caffeine can cause a drop in performance.
Timing of caffeine is important when it comes to sleep as well. Caffeine can be still present in the bloodstream for up to six hours, so if you are taking your pre-workout to train at 5 pm, it could still be present in your system when it comes to bedtime. It may not stop you from going to sleep, but it can affect your sleep cycle and your recovery.
And that’s a little look at caffeine if you have any questions drop us a message and also take a look at our free downloads in the link