Caffeine is one of the most effective exercise supplements available. It is also very cheap and relatively safe to use.
Studies have shown that caffeine can benefit endurance performance, high-intensity exercise and power sports. However, it seems to benefit trained athletes the most.
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and blood levels peak after 90-100 minutes. Caffeine levels remain high for 3-4 hours, then they drop.
Caffeine affects the nervous system to improve focus and energy while reducing tiredness.
The recommended dose varies by body weight, but is typically about 200–400 mg, taken 30–60 minutes before a workout.
Caffeine is a common ingredients in weight loss supplements. Early research has shown that taking caffeine before exercise increases the release of stored fat by 30% .
Another study found that caffeine supplements significantly increased the release of stored fat before and at the end of a workout.
Caffeine can also increase the amount of fat you burn during exercise. It increases heat production and epinephrine, which helps burn additional calories and fat.
Caffeine can affect cells throughout the body, including muscle cells and the brain. Its effects include:
The nervous system: Caffeine activates areas of the brain and nervous system to improve focus and energy, while reducing tiredness
Hormones: ephineprine(adrenaline) is the hormone responsible for the “fight or flight” response, which can increase performan
Fat burning: Caffeine can increase the body’s ability to burn fat via lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat in fat cells
Endorphins: can increase feelings of wellness, and give you the exercise “high” that people often experience after working out
Muscles: Caffeine may impact the motor cortex, which is a part of the brain that signals muscle activation
Body temperature: Caffeine has been shown to increase thermogenesis, or heat production, which helps you burn more calories
Glycogen: Caffeine may also spare muscle carb stores, primarily due to increased fat burning. This can enhance endurance performance
Caffeine eventually gets broken down in the liver.
The side effects of caffeine:
- Increased heart rate
- Insomnia or sleep disruption
- Stomach discomfort
- High doses of 600 mg have been shown to increase tremors and restlessness, especially for people who are not used to caffeine.
People who are prone to anxiety may also want to avoid high doses.
Additionally, caffeine is not recommended for people who take certain medications, as well as those with a heart condition or high blood pressure.
Timing may also matter, as late-night or evening caffeine can disrupt sleep. Try to avoid caffeine intake after 4 or 5 pm.