Make Caffeine More Effective For Your Workouts

Around 80% of American adults consume caffeine in some form every day. Most of us have it as a way of life to get out of bed in the morning or make it through an afternoon workout. It does however do a lot more than just help overcome your brain’s grogginess or deliver a blast of energy. Taking the right amount and at the right time can mean caffeine will boost your performance in the gym and even can help you recover faster.

When putting in any effort at the gym, caffeine can play a big role in helping you progress your workout further.

Once you begin to understand how and why caffeine works, you then begin to strategize to get the most bang for your buck out of the ingredient. Here are the top five tips for you that you should know about caffeine and how to use it more effectively.

1) Caffeine Can Help You Get More Reps Out In The Gym

Caffeine does a lot more than just give you a boost to your pre-workout, it can also help block specific receptors throughout your body that are responsible for you feeling fatigue. This can change into more reps, sets and an overall greater training volume.

A study published in 2012 in the Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research found that 180mg of caffeine taken 60 minutes before a bout of resistance exercise resulted in much more reps being completed on the bench press, deadlift, back squat and row. The group that supplemented with caffeine also experienced lower ratings of perceived exertion. Caffeine has also been shown to improve maximal lower-body strength as well as sprint performance.

To maximize the anti-fatiguing benefits of caffeine, I would recommend being a little more strategic with how often you take it. The more used to it you are, the less likely you’ll feel the effects of caffeine. Try to save your pre-workout caffeine for days when you know you’ve got a grueling workout ahead or you plan on doing some PR testing.

Supplements are an important part of gaining muscle when training hard, caffeine is also a supplement which can help too.

2) Caffeine Can Keep You Focused During Your Workout

Any morning coffee drinker knows that the best cure for morning grogginess is a shot or two of caffeine, also known as nature’s stimulant which helps to dial down the amount of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that can make you feel tired and drowsy. The cognitive boost caffeine can deliver won’t just help you get out of bed and off to work in the morning, it can also help you stay focused in a workout.

The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning published a study which found that caffeine taken before strenuous training sessions helped to sustain exercise intensity and improved concentration. This was especially true in those subjects who were lacking a bit of sleep.

Caffeine intake can also lead to improvements in reaction time, potentially helping athletes who participate in sports that require quick decision-making skills like soccer, football and baseball.

Too much caffeine can actually have the opposite effect as well, so the best way to experience optimal effects is to take roughly 300mg upto an hour before your workout. It is also best to time your caffeine intake when you most need it, either first thing in the morning or before a workout.

3) Caffeine Can Alleviate Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

Something you maybe didn’t know is that caffeine taken pre-workout can help reduce the all-too-common DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that comes with a gruelling workout.

The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning published a study in 2013 that found that those who supplemented with caffeine before their workout reported significantly lower levels of soreness compared to a placebo, even though they could complete more reps when in a lifting session.

After any gruelling workout, soreness can set in.

It is believed that caffeine can reduce the activity of adenosine, a substance in the body associated with fatigue that increases during injury or heavy exercise. Decreasing the perception of pain and soreness in the days that follow a strenuous resistance-training workout may allow you to increase the number of training sessions per week and over time, could lead to greater muscle growth.

4) Caffeine Helps Refuel You Post-Workout

It is well-known that consuming caffeine pre-workout can improve performance, but caffeine following a training session can actually help your muscles refuel at a faster rate. Research that was published in the Journal Of Applied Physiology found that subjects who consumed caffeine with their post-workout carbs had significantly higher rates of glycogen resynthesis compared to the carb-only group. The carb-plus caffeine group had 66% more muscle glycogen than the carb only group. That is 66% more fuel in the tank for your next workout.

Although scientists are not currently 100% certain how caffeine increases glycogen resynthesis, higher glucose and insulin levels, as well as increase in the activity of several signaling enzymes responsible for glucose transport, are likely to be factors.

Caffeine is a great source of energy for your body.

5) Caffeine Can Accelerate Fat Loss

Many studies have shown caffeine’s ability to enhance fat oxidation (your body’s ability to break down stored fat into usable energy) during exercise. Caffeine actually stimulates the nervous system and increases levels of the hormone epinephrine, both of which can signal your body to break down fat. This alone won’t cause significant fat loss, combining caffeine with proper nutrition and a well-rounded fitness program can help you shed a few extra pounds and improve your body composition.

Caffeine has also been shown to increase resting energy expenditure or the amount of calories you burn at rest for up to three hours after ingestion. This doesn’t give you the green light to go mad at an all you can eat buffet but an extra 200-300 calories burned extra each day can lead to noticeable weight loss over time.

How To Maximize The Benefits Of Caffeine

So what is the best way to take in the caffeine to reap all the benefits it has to offer? Current recommendations state that for performance benefits, trained individuals should consume 1-2mg per pound of body weight 30-60 minutes  prior to exercise, never exceeding more than 400mg per day.

Using caffeine the right way will help you push much harder in the gym.

Every person responds a little bit different to caffeine so always start on the lower end and gradually increase your dosage from there. Just be careful however that too much caffeine can leave you feeling nauseated, giving you a stomach ache or severe caffeine jitters.

You gradually build up a tolerance to caffeine so it is best to cycle on and off every 4-6 weeks or look for a product that also contains TeaCrine, the patented form of theacrine. Studies have shown that TeaCrine acts in a similar manner as caffeine but is not habit-forming and can even reduce the habit to caffeine when used in combination.

Coffee may also work well enough to get you out of bed in the morning but if you are wanting to move your workouts to the next level then stick with pure forms of caffeine like caffeine anhydrous and avoid sugary energy drinks. There is also a great program I really recommend called Fat Diminisher which shed pounds of body fat and has worked for many people, click here to take a look and see what all the fuss is about.

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