When you want to have a good sports session, do you also take caffeine beforehand? 9 out of 10 athletes consume caffeine before training. This can be in the form of coffee, pills, energy drinks or pre-workout. Since this is so incredibly popular, a lot of research has already been done on this. In this blog we are going to talk about how caffeine will have a positive effect on your sports performance, because there are 3 reasons why caffeine improves your workout.
1. Blocks adenosine
Adenosine is a ribonucleoside or molecule. When adenosine binds to certain neurons, it causes a tired feeling. Your body converts glucose into adenosine in several intermediate steps. This is also the reason that when you consume a lot of glucose aka carbohydrates you will get an after dinner dip and you will feel tired.
Caffeine blocks the adenosine from binding to the neurons. This ensures that you feel less tired for a certain time, ideal for your training. In addition, it also blocks other feelings in this way, in addition to a tired feeling. This also ensures that you will feel less pain during acidification, for example. It appears to work even better than ibuprofen against acidity and muscle pain. Look, this kills two birds with one stone.
Plus as a bonus, this effect does not diminish when you become more tolerant to caffeine. So even if you have been drinking 20 cups of coffee every day for 80 years, this effect will still be as strong as day 1 (if you are still alive by then). But why does caffeine contribute even more to your sports session?
In another study of caffeine, the researchers saw that the subjects who drank caffeine had more of the hormone adrenaline. This ensures that your body has more fatty acid for fuel. In addition to burning more fat, these fatty acids are also converted into usable energy.
On top of that, caffeine also increases your nitrogen level. Caffeine does this by widening your veins, allowing more blood and oxygen to pass through. This allows more blood to reach the muscles faster. You will notice this especially during a long sports session, such as running, a ball sport or at the end of a long sports session. This will allow you to go longer at 100%.
I would like to add one more thing that may seem contradictory to our other blogs and what you read everywhere. Namely that this effect only really starts when you get between 320 and 480 milligrams of caffeine. A pre-workout contains a maximum of 300mg and a cup of coffee only 90mg. This means that you can take two scoops of pre-workout for this effect. That may be true, but the question is does it outweigh the disadvantages of caffeine, for example, it is more difficult to fall asleep? If you want to read more about that, you can find it here. Now we come to the last of the 3 reasons why caffeine improves your workout.
But caffeine will not only help you with endurance sports, but also with strength training. Caffeine does this by bringing more calcium to your muscles, which triggers your muscle fibers more so that you can put more power. There is still one but to this, namely tolerance. The more and more often you consume caffeine, the more tolerant you become. The effect of caffeine on your sports sessions will then become smaller and smaller until you cut down again or take a caffeine break for a short period.
All in all, caffeine is the number 1 go to supplement when you want to get the most out of your workout. A supplement with little to no downsides and a lot of upsides. Sometimes take breaks from caffeine to get the most out of it and you can find more on this topic at run now.