Caffeine Answers your Need for Speed

There’s nothing quite like it – the unmistakable rush of energy, the pounding of your pulse, an elevated state of mind and an impenetrable focus.

With an experience like this, it’s not surprising that thousands – perhaps even millions – seek out this stuff to start off their day with a kick.

Vince Curl

I am, of course, referring to caffeine. With the growing popularity of energy drinks and dessert-like coffees, caffeine is everywhere in society today, and it can be easily forgotten that if used appropriately, caffeine can be very powerful. Specifically, the stimulant has produced impressive results in countless studies investigating its effectiveness in athletic settings.

Contrary to the perception of caffeine as effective for only a short burst of energy, it actually has significant benefits in “endurance events, stop-and-go events and sports involving sustained high intensity activity.”

For this reason, ergogenic supplements containing caffeine, such as MUSCLEPRIME, have the capacity to improve performance in a variety of athletic pursuits.

Worth noting is the diversity of caffeine’s benefits – performance is enhanced in more ways than just preventing lethargy. For example, one study measured the amount of cortisol secreted during exercise in the presence and absence of caffeine and carbohydrates. Cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, has some negative effects as far as athletes are concerned, such as decreased bone density and muscle tissue. The study indicated that there was “a trend toward higher levels” in the placebo groups.

The results of this study also displayed another benefit of the caffeine and carbohydrate combination, beyond the reduction of cortisol. There was a significant increase in fat oxidation, or the burning of fat for energy in the caffeine and carbohydrate groups.

Caffeine can help with fat burning for energy and fat oxidation.

Interestingly though, groups that received carbohydrates only experienced a reduction in fat oxidation during the exercise, indicating that caffeine was the key in promoting the utilization of fat for energy. This is good news for those wishing to cut fat without cutting carbohydrates.

A caffeinated fat burner such as RAPIDCUTS FEMME can provide an increase of fat oxidation to counteract the potential reduction due to carbohydrate intake.

Caffeine has also proven to be valuable in providing lasting energy to muscles during long, intensive bouts of exercise.

Caffeine has also proven to be valuable in providing lasting energy to muscles during long, intensive bouts of exercise. One group of researchers examined the performance of two groups of athletes, who either consumed caffeine or an equivalent amount of dextrose one hour prior to the trial. While one might assume that the carbohydrate content of the dextrose would provide superior results, this was not the case. The researchers noted that “subjects cycled significantly longer” during the caffeine trial, as well as “increased utilization of…extramuscular free fatty acids.”

Caffeine taken before exercise prevented breakdown of stored muscle glycogen.

The results of this study indicated to the researchers that caffeine taken before exercise prevented the breakdown of stored muscle glycogen into energy for the trial. This action, though, did not inhibit performance. In fact, it resulted in athletic improvements, as the “’spared glycogen’” was available late in exercise and coincided with a prolonged time to exhaustion.”

While that study investigated performance one hour after the ingestion of caffeine, other studies have observed caffeine’s effects over longer periods. One such study found that even in trials held three hours after dosing, athletes receiving caffeine performed significantly better than athletes receiving a placebo.

Experience your best results with caffeine supplements or caffeinated pills.

So is improving your athletic endeavors as simple as merely grabbing a cup of coffee? Not quite. It seems that caffeinated supplements or caffeine pills are your best bet. One group of researchers compared performance of athletes receiving either caffeine or coffee and found that “endurance was only increased” in the caffeine trial. Therefore, the conclusion was that “there must be a component of coffee that moderates the actions of caffeine”.

Sources:

  1. Burke, Louise M. Caffeine and Sports Performance. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism: 2008; 33(6): 1319
  2. Slivka, Dustin, et al. Effects of Caffeine and Carbohydrate Use on Exercise Performance, Substrate Oxidation and Salivary Cortisol. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: 2008; 40(5): 361
  3. Spriet, L. L., et al. Caffeine Ingestion and Muscle Metabolism During Prolonged Exercise in Humans. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism: 1992; 262(6): 891
  4. Bell, Douglas G., and McLellan, Tom M. Exercise Endurance 1, 3, and 6 H after Caffeine Ingestion in Caffeine Users and Nonusers. Journal of Applied Physiology: 2002; 93(4): 1227
  5. Graham, T. E., et al. Metabolic and Exercise Endurance Effects of Coffee and Caffeine Ingestion. Journal of Applied Physiology: 1998; (85)3: 883
Brian Willett

Brian is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and is currently completing his degree in Public Relations Journalism at the University of North Carolina. He grew fond of weight-lifting during his hockey career and is now happily addicted to the iron. Brian can be contacted via email at TarHeelTrainer@gmail.com.

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