In amateur or professional exercises there are a few tricks and a few supplements to make you work harder and get better results. Most of these are probably familiar to the great majority out there but it is still interesting that most of the questions doctors and professional trainers get, at least when it comes to pre-workout supplements, is about caffeine and creatine.
Caffeine is probably the most studied supplement out there and it has a ton of research papers and results backing a whole lot of good and bad sides of it. There are several forms of caffeine and several ways you can take it in your organism. One of the most popular is taking a good old cup of coffee. Other ways of ingesting caffeine are workout supplements, fizzy drinks or energy drinks.
Never mind the way you take this, as we previously mentioned it has both good and bad impacts on your body. The good things will be discussed later in the article, but the bad things are what we will mention here. The bad stuff caffeine brings is nothing to worry about. Yes, it creates addiction but this is the only “drug” you can get off easily and without huge consequences. You will have to endure a few days of crankiness and headaches and that is it.
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The workout benefits of caffeine:
Now when it comes to workouts and caffeine you have to consider putting performance benefits in front of health benefits. If you do so then taking caffeine before a workout will give you more energy and what is considered by that not energy in the form of becoming a superman but it will give you more alertness. The way that caffeine works is it blocks certain receptors in your brain that increase the levels of epinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine. This is exactly what gives you that drive that you feel during workouts with a bit of euphoria. Taking caffeine before a workout can make a difference between a very good and productive workout and a mediocre one that you did just to get it out of your way.
Believe it or not, caffeine increases your muscle strength. As we already mentioned there is a huge amount of research behind caffeine and its benefits. One of those researches states that one dose of caffeine immediately can increase muscle strength, with a high enough of a dose of course. This means you would have to ingest around 300mg of caffeine before a workout which is equal to around three cups of coffee. In this case, the caffeine stimulates the nervous system and those nerves that activate the muscle fibers with more force which eventually brings to more strength.
Caffeine gives you the endurance that you so much need when having one of those intense workouts. It increases endurance in several ways and the first one is by increasing fat burning during your workout. Training with caffeine in your systems means that you burn more fat than without it. Burning more fat means that your body will spare your muscle glycogen which means that you will have a lot more energy later on in the workout when you need it the most. The other way that caffeine boosts your endurance is by boosting nitric oxide levels. Researches’ again prove that caffeine can enhance vasodilation making blood vessels a lot wider which eventually means that muscles will get a lot more blood flow, which again means that your muscles will get more oxygen and more nutrients. These things are very important if you want to save the health of your muscles during high-intensity workouts and if you want to save them from injuries like muscle tears and muscle snapping.
What is equally important in a workout besides endurance, strength, and energy is not to have muscle pain after this kind of workout. Both amateur and professional athletes fight a battle against inflammations after high-intensity training. Researches show that caffeine works better than ibuprofen for blunting muscle pain during and after your workouts. This means only one thing, with less muscle pain you can go harder and longer without experiencing any problems. Pros will testify to this and the importance of doing a few extra reps that you wouldn’t do if that muscle pain was too much. With simple math, more reps, and more pushing yourself without pain means that you get better results.
In this part, a lot of studies confirmed that caffeine leaves some mental ease when using it pre-workout. Mental ease is reported by those that used the caffeine pre-workout and reported that their overall session was easier with caffeine than without. They didn’t get tired as much or they could push themselves more than they used. What this does is combine those four benefits stated before and the result is the ease, energy, and strength needed to finish a high-intensity workout you planned to do. These mental benefits are reported mostly by those that don’t understand the single benefits listed here. So, caffeine is a beneficial pre-workout supplement and the one that can aid you more, both in health and in performance.
When it comes to working out and using pre or post-workout supplements all you have to do is balance your intake of these with the workout routines. Too much of anything can`t be good for your body and too little may mean you will not do as you planned to. Balance is a great thing when you want to boost the positives of anything and kick out the negatives.
Although there have been a lot of bad things said about coffee and caffeine before the newest studies, backed up by double-blinded studies brought us the results we listed above. What we always do is advise that you keep everything balanced and what for what your body is reporting back after every intake and after every workout. This way you will know if you are doing something right.