What do black coffee, guarana, green tea, mate and sports fat burner have in common? That’s right, they all contain caffeine. In iron sports, including bodybuilding, caffeine is prized as a performance and concentration stimulant. Excitation of the central nervous system (CNS) allows the athlete to effectively solve the tasks set for the training, performing it in full, regardless of fatigue, time of day or night, and other distractions.
According to research, just 250 grams of caffeine can several times increase the performance of a man or woman, and most importantly, help fight fatigue in a short time. In practice, this active ingredient is more often used during drying periods in order to fully exercise with a strict diet. In addition, there is evidence that coffee drinks have properties that increase fat burning and speed up metabolism, which only contributes to weight loss.
In general, coffee (caffeine) for the exerciser can act as a working stimulant, relatively safe and extremely effective. Of course, if you adhere to a strict nutritional plan and follow a clear training program along the way.
Benefits of Caffeine for Bodybuilding
Among the main effects of caffeine are:
- Increased energy potential;
- Central nervous system activation;
- Acceleration of protein synthesis;
- Reduced fatigue;
- Relief of drowsiness;
- And increased adaptation to physical activity.
Caffeine is so powerful as a CNS stimulant, boosting its function and improving performance, that it is banned in many sports. In particular, this applies to athletics, where very severe penalties (up to fines and disqualifications) are provided for its use before the competition.
In bodybuilding, caffeine is not banned, and here it can help the athlete to concentrate and adapt when training with iron. Even if you did not sleep well or overworked during your working day. On the other hand, overdose can lead to the opposite effect, causing drowsiness, increasing fatigue, increasing heart rate and disrupting concentration.
As a rule, caffeine is recommended to be taken shortly before workout, especially if cardio is to be done to stimulate the metabolism. To increase the power indicators, it is also worth drinking it beforehand for physical work, say, before sinking. This simple trick will add up to 1 to 2 pounds on the bench press or deadlift.
How Much Caffeine per Day for Bodybuilding?
High doses of caffeine are used in bodybuilding. On average, 200 to 400 mg per day. If you believe the “experts” on the network, then athletes up to 75 kg should not consume more than 200 mg of the active ingredient at the same time, and those who are heavier, on the contrary, should increase the dosage range.
In fact, the effectiveness of the dosage depends not so much on the weight of the athlete as on external factors. For example, it is additionally necessary to take into account the susceptibility of the central nervous system, the state of the organs and systems of the body, as well as the general tolerance of caffeine in humans.
Surely even you have a friend or girlfriend who refrains from drinking coffee. For them, it only causes overstrain and overwork. There is no need to talk about any useful influence here. Such people need to take an amino acid complex before workout, and not experiment with caffeine supplements.
Factors that can affect the effectiveness of caffeine:
- Health of the cardiovascular system. Taking caffeine, even in minimal amounts, is prohibited with high blood pressure, tachycardia, acute and chronic heart diseases. You may not immediately feel discomfort, but sooner or later the consequences will certainly make themselves felt. In general, for problems with the cardiovascular system, it is recommended to avoid the use of any controversial drugs.
- The condition of the kidneys and liver. Doctors advise eliminating caffeine from the diet for severe diseases of the excretory system, at least until recovery. The reason for this is not the hepatotoxicity of the active substance, which is often attributed to it, but the inability of the sick organism to cope with accelerated metabolic reactions. In addition, caffeine is thought to have diuretic properties.
- Health of the central nervous system. Not all trainees take into account the peculiarities of the response to caffeine. Therefore, there are cases when a jock feels great during training, is full of strength and energy, and, having come as a lady, cannot fall asleep. There are two ways out of this situation: the first is simple (to reduce the dosage range to 100% safe), the second is radical (to completely stop taking caffeine).
- The state of the autonomic nervous system. As a result, complaints of limb tremors and increased heart rate after drinking coffee drinks or supplements. And this happens even without an overdose. Such is the individual reaction of the body.
In general, according to scientific studies, the dosage of caffeine should be selected according to the formula 3-6 grams of active ingredient per 1 kilogram of its own weight, and it should be drunk 30-60 minutes before physical work. This dose should be enough for almost any athlete to simultaneously increase both strength and endurance.
Side Effects of Caffeine
The side effects of caffeine are controversial to say the least. Many athletes who regularly use caffeine supplements claim that they are not a problem. But doctors are of the opposite opinion.
On the part of the cardiovascular system, tachycardia, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure can make themselves felt. In turn, on the part of the respiratory system, breathing disorders and shortness of breath are possible. And on the part of the excretory system – problems with urination (due to the diuretic effect).
These are all considered “mild” side effects of caffeine. In case of an overdose, the situation is complicated: tinnitus, dizziness, headache, visual impairment, and so on on the list. Plus, in rare cases, a feeling of hypoglycemia and complications in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) are likely, from dryness of the mucous membrane to excessive outflow of bile.
So it’s silly to say that coffee (caffeine) has no side effects. The consequences for the most part may not be critical, but the fact remains.
Reviews of Experts
There are mixed reviews about caffeine in sports. There are reasons for this. Some people consume it with different pre-workout complexes and sports fat burners, not paying any attention to the composition. It turns out that they are overusing caffeine. Then there are complaints of lack of sleep and headache.
And those athletes who are not so frivolous are more likely to speak positively about caffeine as an active ingredient. Indeed, if the recommendations are followed and contraindications are excluded, it is relatively safe for both men and women. The beneficial effects are also not long in coming.