CAFFEINE! 😝 HOW MUCH DO I TAKE?! 😵 AND WHEN?!
Caffeine is one of the most popular and beneficial ergogenic aids, and the most widely consumed drug in the world! Sports-specific studies into caffeine, soccer and other team sports have shown that improvements are possible for a player’s average sprint power, jump performance, repeat sprint performance, reaction time, and pressure-passing accuracy with caffeine supplementation. In our body we have receptors for a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine is produced as a by product of using energy either from physically or mentally demanding work, and levels increase in our body during the day. Adenosine promotes muscle relaxation and sleepiness when binding its receptors. Caffeine basically works by blocking adenosine receptors and enhancing wakefulness. A cup of coffee alone might not get you the bump to the salary of $60 million that Lionel Messi is on, but it definitely has the potential to help you preform!
Current recommendations for athletes (which lets face it - we all are) are around 3 to 6mg per kilogram of body mass. ⚖️ For example if you weigh 70kg your ideal dose is between 210 to 420mg of caffeine. A standard cup of coffee has around 80mg of caffeine ☕️, while most gym pre-workouts have between 150 to 300mg per serve which is usually about right for most people! 💊⚡️
Usually the best time to take caffeine is 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout which allows it to be absorbed, metabolised, and to enter your bloodstream to start having an effect as you begin your workout! ⏰
There are plenty of studies highlighting mental and physical performance benefits at the right dosages, and caffeine has been shown time and again to be one of the most effective legal performance enhancing drugs - and with minimal, if any side effects! 💪🏻
There are plenty of studies highlighting the mental and physical performance benefits of caffeine at the right dosages, but remember: more isn't ALWAYS better! Even so, caffeine has also been shown to be one of the safest and most effective legal performance enhancing drugs - with minimal, if any side effects! That being said, there is always the potential for varying individual response to any drug, and some genetic factors may also determine your ideal dosage and timing for ingesting caffeine - check out our quick Facebook video from last week or come see us in the gym for more info! 🍃
Some people might experience tremors or ‘jitters’, headache, increased heart rate, or even withdrawals. Again, depending on genetics you may have trouble sleeping if you take certain amounts of caffeine later in the day or at high doses. So, like with other supplements, it’s always best to test your caffeine response outside of critical competition times to work out what works best for you! We always recommend a consult with a sports dietitian if you’re having trouble working out the best plan of attack for you! 💪🏻🍃
Caffeine isn’t just in coffee, gym pre-workouts, and energy drinks – it can be found in tea, chocolate, energy gels, coca cola, and much more! These sources can vary in the amount of caffeine and the other compounds found along with it – so for a precise dose you can try things such as caffeine strips, gum, or tablets like ‘No Doz’ which have specific controlled doses with very few other ingredients.
The Lethal Dose of a chemical which kills 50% of animals it is tested on is called the ‘LD50’. The LD50 of caffeine is around about 100 cups of coffee or somewhere around 150mg per kg - and even at then... it’s a 50/50 😉 (remember the recommended amount for performance is around 3 to 6mg NOT 150mg). Fun fact: this means if you’re a regular healthy person and you tried to drink 100 cups of coffee fast enough for the caffeine to kill you, you'd likely die of hyponatraemia from the amount of water in the coffee before the caffeine! The LD50 of water is only about 7 litres, so 100 cups of coffee x 200ml per cup is about 20 litres of water!