This week’s supplement of the week is Caffeine.
Caffeine is a commonly ingested chemical throughout the world. It can
be taken on it’s own in pill form, in pre workout drinks or from
natural sources like tea or coffee. We aren’t going to get into much
beyond it’s ergogenic value or as it relates to exercise.
I take caffeine before almost every workout, in pill form, which is
more effective than a natural source like coffee.
There is research backing up caffeine’s efficacy, especially during
short duration efforts like strength training, power sports (power
lifting or Olympic Weightlifting) or sprinting.
There are a few things to consider-
1. Caffeine users become tolerant of caffeine with habitual use, so it
can have less of an effect on exercise performance. A good strategy to
combat this is to refrain from using caffeine for 10-14 days prior to
an event so you get maximum benefit from your caffeine.
2. The amount of caffeine makes a difference. 300 mg of caffeine in a
pill form is superior to 2 cups of coffee, which generally yields
100-150 mg and is an inferior source.
3. Some individuals may experience anxiety and increased heart rate
with caffeine use, which may be uncomfortable and shift the focus away
from the workout.
Other possible benefits from caffeine
-Improved mental acuity, including memory
-Increased fat utilization during exercise due to caffeine releasing
the body’s fatty acids into the blood
-Helps the user wake up in the morning
-Lower cancer risk
-Lower diabetes risk
-Increases blood pressure and eye pressure acutely
-Increases heart rate
Interesting fact-There is a gene that allows people to metabolize
caffeine much faster than other individuals. The CYP1A2 controls the
CYP1A2 enzyme which metabolizes caffeine in your body. It’s found in
about 40% of people. People who do not have this gene have negative
experiences or are extremely sensitive to caffeine.
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Womack CJ, et al. The influence of a CYP1A2 polymorphism on the
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González-Badillo JJ, Sánchez-Medina L. Movement velocity as a measure
of loading intensity in resistance training. Int J Sports Med. (2010)
Astorino TA, Rohmann RL, Firth K. Effect of caffeine ingestion on
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Evans SM, Griffiths RR. Caffeine tolerance and choice in humans.
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Boulenger JP, et al. Chronic caffeine consumption increases the number
of brain adenosine receptors. Life Sci. (1983)