5 BENEFITS OF COFFEE for athletes & Fitness enthusiasts.
CAFFEINE BOOSTS ENERGY
Although caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, its effects on energy go far beyond its buzz. Preworkout caffeine supplementation dampens perceived exertion during and after exercise by almost 6 percent compared to a placebo, which in turn has been shown to improve endurance in aerobic and anaerobic sports. Your cardio workouts will benefit from the increased mobilization of free fatty acids, which get used to fuel extended performance and improves time to exhaustion. For short-duration anaerobic activities such as weight training and power sports, caffeine-induced boost in dopamine signaling in the brain promotes increased time to exhaustion. Taking caffeine before training promotes higher intensity and volume in your workouts and sport performance.
Preworkout caffeine supplementation can also reduce poor training performance due to sleep deprivation — something we all deal with now and then. Although sleep deprivation led to large decreases in total workout load in this study, sleep-deprived subjects who took caffeine performed as well as those who were rested. Yet non-sleep-deprived individuals who received caffeine performed better than all other groups and experienced increased testosterone levels pre- and postworkout.
CAFFEINE ACUTELY INCREASES STRENGTH
Ingesting caffeine an hour before intense biceps training (to failure) significantly boosted training volume. Repost said taking caffeine one hour before training increased bench press 1RM strength better than a placebo. In terms of lower-body strength, an earlier study found that caffeine supplementation enhanced knee extension and flexion power and strength in elite athletes.
CAFFEINE INCREASES FAT LOSS
Ingesting caffeine before low-intensity aerobic exercise has been scientifically shown to boost lipolysis (fat burning), an effect based on two known mechanisms. First, there’s a synergistic increase in norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline) release associated with the combination of exercise and caffeine supplementation. Norepinephrine is a key regulator of fatty acid release from fat cells into the circulation to be burned for energy. Second, caffeine competes with adenosine on adenosine receptors in fat cells; under normal conditions, adenosine binds to fat cells and hinders the release of fatty acids. Taking caffeine blocks this inhibitory effect of adenosine on fatty acid release, resulting in greater fat mobilization and availability for metabolism.
CAFFEINE AIDS IN RECOVERY
There are even benefits to taking caffeine after exercise. high-dose postworkout caffeine supplementation combined with the ingestion of fast sugars (like dextrose) resulted in 66 percent greater glycogen repletion than when taking carbs alone. In fact, study authors concluded that the augmented rate of glycogen replenishment they observed was the highest ever reported in humans under normal physiological conditions. Throughout a four-hour recovery period, subjects who ingested caffeine with carbohydrate had much higher levels of insulin and blood glucose, a potent signal for anabolic drive. Those who opt for this approach may want to temper their caffeine ingestion preworkout and at other times of the day.
CAFFEINE DECREASES PAIN
Researchers reported that athletes who took caffeine before resistance training experienced significant and immediate reductions in postworkout pain. Subjects also enjoyed robust decreases in delayed-onset muscle soreness days after training. Along similar lines, in a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, caffeine ingestion (approximately 300 milligrams) before maximal voluntary isometric contraction was found to reduce muscular pain intensity by almost 50 percent.
Dramatic decreases in muscular pain are generally thought to be due to caffeine’s ability to block adenosine receptors in the brain and spinal cord that are involved in pain processing and perception. To put this in perspective, one study concluded that the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug Naproxen produced only a 30 percent reduction in postworkout muscle soreness.
Based on the scientific evidence, there are a few facts you should know before you decide to take caffeine to enhance your workouts:
More is not better. In fact, as with most stimulants, the benefits of caffeine diminish if you take a larger-than-optimal dose. This is called the inverted-U effect.
Caffeine is a diuretic that can dehydrate you, so you must increase your water consumption when taking it.
Caffeine has a relatively long half-life of six hours. So if you drink a large coffee (with about 200 milligrams of caffeine) at 6 p.m. before you work out, you’ll have 100 milligrams still active in your body at midnight, which can severely affect your sleep cycle. Sleep is something you don’t want to mess with: It’s incredibly important for strength and muscular gains (read: recovery).
Caffeine is addictive. Use it in moderation and don’t take it to make up for poor sleep habits.
CAFFEINATING FOR PERFORMANCE
Take 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine one hour before workouts. If you’ve never consumed caffeine before or you have a lower tolerance, start with the lowest dose and work up accordingly. If you exhibit symptoms such as shaking, nervousness, heart palpitations or anxiety, you’ve taken too much. For optimal results, take two equal daily doses of 100 to 300 milligrams each. Take the first dose upon waking and the second dose one hour before training, allowing four to six hours between doses.
THE DUALITY OF CAFFEINE
The CliffsNotes on how this super supp does what it does in the brain and body. In the brain Caffeine rapidly goes to work in the CNS and can be felt within 30 minutes after ingestion. The brain-stimulating effect of caffeine is mainly the result of its adenosine-blocking actions. Normally, adenosine binds to nerve cells in the brain to slow down nerve activity, which makes you mellow. With a dose of caffeine on board, however, adenosine’s actions are blunted and nerve cells become hyperactive. Nerve hyperactivity is an environment that the pituitary perceives as an emergency, which promotes the release of noradrenaline, adrenaline and dopamine, giving the user a feeling of energy, wakefulness and well-being.
In the body Caffeine modifies the actions of several enzymes. One in particular, called phosphodiesterase (PDE), is inhibited by caffeine. In cells, PDE works to break down cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which is a crucial cell-signaling substance called a second messenger. Overall, the blunting of PDE allows cAMP to build up in the body, which intensifies and prolongs the effects of energizing neurotransmitters and hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.