How Caffeine Improves Fitness Exercises
Caffeine is a powerful ingredient and can improve physical and mental performance.
One dose can significantly improve your exercise performance, focus and fat burning.
American Special Forces even use it to improve performance and concentration.
Caffeine is found in many foods and beverages, and over 90% of the American population consumes it regularly.
This article clarifies the benefits of caffeine for improving exercise performance.
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed into the blood, and blood levels rise after 90-100 minutes. The caffeine level remains high for 3-4 hours, after which it begins to decrease.
Unlike most ingredients and dietary supplements, caffeine can affect cells throughout the body, including muscle cells and the brain.
For this reason, the effects of caffeine on the body are quite varied. These include:
- Nervous System: Caffeine activates areas of the brain and nervous system to improve focus and energy while reducing fatigue.
- Hormones: Adrenaline is the hormone responsible for the “fight or flight” response that can increase good performance.
- Fat burning: Caffeine can increase the body’s ability to burn fat through lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat to fat cells.
- Endorphins: β-Endorphins can increase the feeling of wellness, and give you the “high feeling” that people often experience after a workout.
- Muscles: Caffeine can affect the motor cortex, which is the part of the brain that signals muscle activation.
- Body temperature: Caffeine has been observed to increase thermogenesis, or heat production, which helps you burn more calories.
- Glycogen: Caffeine can spare muscle carbohydrate stores, mainly because of increased fat burning. This can improve endurance and performance.
The caffeine at the end is processed in the liver.
Conclusion: Caffeine can easily pass through the body. It has a variety of effects on hormones, muscles and the brain.
Caffeine and Endurance
Caffeine is a good supplement for many athletes.
Due to its positive effect on performance during exercise, some organizations such as NCAA – have even started banning it in high quantities.
One study found that 9.8 mg/lb (4.45 mg/kg, or about 400 mg total) of caffeine increased endurance in athletes.
They were able to cover 1.3-2 miles (2-3.2 km) more than the test group.
In a study with cyclists, caffeine was shown to be better than carbohydrates or water. It increased the workload by 7.4%, compared with 5.2% in the carbohydrate group.
A study combined caffeine and carbohydrates, which improved performance by 9% compared with water alone, and 4.6% compared with carbohydrates alone.
Another study tested coffee because of its naturally high caffeine levels.
In a 1,500-meter run, coffee drinkers were 4.2 seconds faster than decaf drinkers. Another study has found that coffee helps reduce the intake of effort, allowing athletes to work harder.
Conclusion: Caffeine and coffee show large improvements in endurance performance in athletes.
Caffeine and High-Intensity Exercise
The evidence for the effects of caffeine on high-intensity exercise is mixed.
Caffeine has impressive benefits for trained athletes, but seems to have less benefit for beginners or those who are untrained.
Two studies of hobby-active men doing wheel sprints have found no difference between the effects of caffeine and water.
For competitive athletes, however, a similar sprint with wheels has linked caffeine to significant improvements in strength.
Another study looked at the effect of caffeine on trained and untrained swimmers. Again, positive improvement in the trained group, but no benefit in the untrained group of swimmers.
In team sports, caffeine has improved passing ability in rugby, 500 meter rowing and sprint times in football.
Conclusion: For high-intensity sports like cycling or swimming, caffeine can improve trained athletes, but not people who don’t train regularly.
Caffeine and Strength Exercises
Research is still coming out on the use of caffeine in strength-based activities.
Although several studies have shown a positive effect, the evidence is not conclusive.
One study found that caffeine had a positive effect on lying down, but no effect on lower body or bicycle sprints.
In comparison, 27 studies found that caffeine could improve leg muscle strength by up to 7%, but had no effect on smaller muscle groups.
Caffeine can also improve muscular endurance, including the number of repetitions done at a certain weight.
In general, current research suggests that caffeine may provide more benefits for strength-based activities that use large muscle groups, reps or rounds.
Conclusion: For strength or power-based exercise, the research on the effects of caffeine is more positive, but still with mixed results.
Caffeine and Weight Loss
Caffeine is a common ingredient in weight loss supplements.
An early study showed that taking caffeine before exercise increased the release of stored fat by 30%.
Another study has shown that caffeine-based supplements significantly increase the release of stored fat before and at the end of exercise.
Caffeine can also increase the amount of fat you burn during exercise. It increases heat and epinephrine production, which helps to burn extra calories and fat.
However, there is currently no evidence that caffeine improves long-term weight loss in exercising individuals.
Conclusion: Caffeine can help release stored fat from fat cells, especially before and at the end of exercise. It can also help you burn more calories.
How to add Caffeine
How caffeine improves exercise
There are a few things to keep in mind when using caffeine as a dietary supplement.
If you consume coffee, energy drinks, soda, or dark chocolate, you may experience fewer benefits from supplements. This is because your body has developed a tolerance to caffeine.
Dry Caffeine seems to have the greatest benefits for workout performance, but coffee is also a good option. Coffee also provides antioxidants and various health benefits.
Dosage is often based on body weight, about 7-13 mg per lb (3-6 mg per kg). That’s about 200-400 mg for most people, though Some studies use up to 600-900 mg.
Start with low doses, from 150-200 mg to assess your tolerance. Then increase the dosage to 400 or even 600 mg to maintain the performance benefits.
If you want to use caffeine for athletic enhancement, you should keep it for important events or competitions to maintain sensitivity to its effects.
For optimal results, take it about 60 minutes before a race or event. However, make sure to test it beforehand if you are not used to using caffeine.
Conclusion: Taking 200-400 mg of dry caffeine, 60 minutes before a race or event, can help to get the maximum result.
Side Effects of Caffeine
In a significant dose, caffeine can provide many benefits with some side effects. However, it may be inappropriate for some people.
Here are some common side effects of too much caffeine:
- Accelerated heart rate.
- Insomnia or interrupted sleep.
- Gastric discomfort.
High doses of 600 mg have been shown to increase shakiness and anxiety, especially for people who are not used to caffeine.
People who are prone to anxiety may want to avoid high doses of caffeine.
In addition, caffeine is not recommended for people who take certain medications, as well as those with heart conditions or high blood pressure.
Timing can also be important, as late evening or nighttime caffeine can spoil your sleep. Avoid taking caffeine after 16-17 hours.
Finally, you can get sick or even die if you overdose on very high amounts of caffeine. Do not confuse milligrams with grams.
Conclusion: Caffeine is a relatively safe dietary supplement in the recommended dosages. May cause minor side effects for some people, and should not be used if you have heart problems or high blood pressure.
Caffeine is Very Effective
Caffeine is one of the most effective supplements available . It is very inexpensive and relatively safe to use.
Studies show that caffeine improves endurance and performance, high-intensity exercise and strength sports. However, it improves primarily trained athletes.
The recommended dosage varies depending on body weight, but is usually around 200-400 mg taken 30-60 minutes before exercise.
Dry Caffeine supplements seem to be the most supportive, but normal coffee is also a good option.