We’re going to talk today about one of the most beloved supplements: CAFFEINE.
If you know how to use it, when to use it, and what kind to use, caffeine can become your greatest support in muscle building and fat burning.
Nowadays, caffeine is shrouded in misconception and here’s why: just like with any other supplement, some people expect magical results and tend to overuse it. But if you use it right, you can see some very accomplishing results. Instead of expecting coffee to do your workout session for you, focus on how it can aid you in it.
The key here is to control your intake of caffeine and not allowing your intake of caffeine to control you.
1. CAFFEINE PILLS
Most people immediately associate caffeine with coffee. But you are not most people and you know that caffeine comes in many shapes and forms. Coffee is not the best way to go about your caffeine pre-workout – unless you are a black coffee lover and need no added sweeteners.
The best method to control your intake and schedule is by using caffeine pills. Scientific research has proven that the anhydrous caffeine in the pill form is more effective in improving and maximizing performance in both athletes and endurance performers.
There are two great advantages of caffeine pills that those who use, swear by them:
- They are cheap! For the price of a couple of fancy cups of coffee a day, you can buy a bottle of 100 caffeine pills.
- You are in control! Yes, by using caffeine pills you are in control of how much you use. And this is important - you need to control your dosage.
2. HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
Again, scientific research has proven that increasing the amount of caffeine you put into your body doesn’t necessarily increase your strength and endurance.
So, how much & when?
With the doctor’s permission, it's recommended to drink pure black coffee (with no added sugar or sweeteners) or to take Caffeine pills 2 - 3 times a day. The ideal time to fill your belly with some Caffeine is after you eat something.
And depending on how you manage your time, remember that caffeine will have a thermogenic effect on your body, for a good 2-3 hours after consumption.
The recommended dosage to use before being active in the gym is 6 mg/KG.
Consume caffeine once a day, about an hour before your lifting session. This helps with negative training (also known as eccentric training - the movement of lowering the weights) increasing your strength.
This means that caffeine will help increase the strength of your lifts! But just a word of caution: if you are not working out that day or if you are doing an intense cardio session, don’t take any caffeine. In this sense, it is best to use caffeine on a day when you’re focusing on strength and weight lifting and not necessarily when you’re doing a 30 minutes cardio workout or an HIIT session. In fact, it will hinder your HIIT performance by slowing down and lowering your Perceived Rate of Exertion (PRE). For HIIT, your PRE is massively important - it ultimately determines how well or poorly you will perform during your HIIT session.
In this sense, it is best to use caffeine on a day when you’re focusing on strength and weight lifting and not necessarily when you’re doing a 30 minutes cardio workout or an HIIT session. In fact, it will hinder your HIIT performance by slowing down and lowering your Perceived Rate of Exertion (PRE). For HIIT, your PRE is massively important - it ultimately determines how well or poorly you will perform during your HIIT session.
If you don’t want the caffeine to interfere with your sleeping patterns, try working out in the morning, so that your body will eliminate caffeine from your system by the end of the day.
3. EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE
Caffeine is best known for rapidly reaching your brain and driving you into a state of awakening and alertness. So it’s a natural Central Nervous System stimulant. That’s why you feel immediately woken up and get an energy boost.
So, how does it affect your metabolism? Well, caffeine is a thermogenic substance that heats up, speeds up, and boosts your metabolism - hence being so commonly used for fat-burning sessions.
Logic would dictate that the more caffeine you consume, the more the thermogenic effect will last. True, if you just look at it that way. But remember what we just said about it being a CNS stimulant? That means that the bigger the intake, the more it will work on your nervous system and ‘alert’ it. And that doesn’t mean that you will be incredibly lucid and ‘woke’. It means that your brain will be so overstimulated, that it will be exhausted and it will drain you of energy, instead of boosting it. Do not overdo it!
Pay very close attention because this is the source of misconception.
Your body quickly builds up a tolerance to caffeine. So it will lose its positive thermogenic effect and it will drive you to exhaustion.
The more you use, the more it will diminish your performance. This is why it is so highly recommended using it in the form of pills, rather than a beverage. And this is why we recommend you use it ONLY before your lifting sessions.
So how do you use caffeine properly? Resort to an on-and-off relationship with caffeine. Only use it before your lifting sessions, control your intake by measuring your dosage, and you will not have to deal with negative side effects of withdrawal and exhaustion. This way you are sure to enjoy some truly amazing results and you’ll also do caffeine some justice - because it deserves it.
Do not take caffeine if you have any history of heart irregularities.Caffeine must be used as a supplement in your diet and not for replacing any meals.
Check with your doctor or physician first! The information contained in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. All of our content, including images, graphics, text available in this article is for general information purposes only. Mava Sports makes no representations and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information available in this article, and such information is subject to change without notice. We encourage you to verify and confirm any information you obtained from this article with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your doctor and physician. Do not disregard any professional medical advice because of something you have read in or accessed through this article.