SO many questions surrounding caffeine (as well as conflicting studies)….
I personally believe A LOT depends on someone’s Biological Individuality and how they respond to caffeine supplementation, but I will use caffeine during certain workouts when I feel I (honestly and truly) need the help to instil some intensity into the workout, mainly for the 3 following reasons… but it would be great to get other people’s thoughts on dosage, type of caffeine (pre workouts, coffee, yerba mate, other sources)?
(1) Reduces Your Perception to Fatigue: This is too often overlooked, but caffeine can reduce your perception to fatigue. Experts believe it does this by stimulating the production of the neurotransmitter beta-endorphin and this may explain why, when caffeine is coupled with carbohydrate supplementation to ensure muscle glycogen levels are fully topped up, athletes are able to maintain a higher intensity and maximal output for longer. Also supported by a study on grip strength to exhaustion where reported pain was lessened in the caffeine group.
(2) Increase Your Power Output: A study by Lane et al (2013) found caffeine, even when taken in low doses can improve your power. This is because the study served to analyze cycling power output and found that a dosage of 3mg/kg increased power by up to 3.5% when compared to a placebo group. Granted this might not sound like a lot, but it could be responsible for the new one rep max you put up on the bench press. Another study found that caffeine could help battle the negative effect on performance of training in the morning. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, training early will decrease power output due to your circadian rhythms, ingesting caffeine can equalise this, allowing you to train in the morning with no ill effects. Finally, research conducted at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada found that caffeine supplementation could ‘permit an athletes to train at a greater power output and/or to train longer by producing a more favourable ionic environment within the active muscle.’
(3) Improved Your Endurance: Endurance athletes could benefit from caffeine supplementation as well as gym goers. Burke (2008) found that caffeine in low to moderate amounts can improve endurance performance. Another study on cyclists performing a 40km race found that those who took caffeine prior to the event reduced their time significantly and as far back as 1980 it was theorized and published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine that taking caffeine with carbohydrates has been shown to spare your muscle glycogen stores by encouraging your body to burn stored fat as fuel, essentially saving your muscle glycogen for those maximal intensity sprints.
Interesting post, I have used caffeine to prepare for gym based workouts, especially on the Three Peaks Rope Climb. I have found that the first 20% of my workout is where I am most sluggish even after a good warm up, so caffeine allows to to have that edge in time for my body to ‘kick in’ to the workout. However, on longer endurance running events I have heard contrasting reports, with some saying that caffeine will increase the heart rate which will be detrimental to effective training due to the sharp increase in heart rate through running anyway. It would be interesting to hear other thoughts on this?
I personally only use PWO one or two times a week. I was thinking that I don’t want my body to depend on the rush the PWO gave me, from the caffeine but also from the beta-alanin and L-Citrulline and so on. Is there something to it or am I completely wrong?
Other caffine sources like coffee or energy drinks I used almost everyday when I was home, getting a nice detox now when I’m traveling haha.