An edge. You’re always looking for it. In the workplace, in the classroom, and even in the gym. You’re looking for something that will allow you to train harder, faster, and smarter against your peers, and against yourself as well. In the gym, anything which can boost your energy, recovery, and training stamina is always going to be a welcome addition. The edge you’ve been seeking for your physique training may have been sitting right in front of you all along: Caffeine!
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system of the body, as you may already know. What you may not know is that muscle fibers of the body are activated with a much greater force as a result. This means the same muscle fibers are now capable of greater strength, since they can now move more weight. Dosage of 300 milligrams is usually required to trigger this muscular response, but it is one which powerlifters and Olympic lifters have learned to love over the years.
The most obvious reason for adding caffeine to your supplementation regimen is the influx of energy you will experience! By blocking the receptors inside the brain, caffeine is able to increase levels of dopamine, epinephrine, and adrenaline, giving you the energy you need to train longer and harder. You’ll feel a greater drive in the gym, and just a little euphoria as well. Take your caffeine 45 to 60 minutes before your workout, and it should kick in just as the weight start getting heavy!
If you’re looking to train longer and harder, then caffeine is definitely your friend. Caffeine actually attacks your endurance levels (in a good way) by taking two avenues. First, caffeine helps to boost nitric oxide levels in your body. Higher levels of vasoilation means your blood vessels are widened, and thus able to move more blood flow to the muscles. This higher blood flow delivers a greater number of nutrients and oxygen, allowing you to train longer and harder. Additionally, caffeine helps you to burn more fat during the workout, which allows your body to spare your own muscle glycogen. This will leave you more energy for later in the workout, a little more gas in the tank for when the workout gets long and the weights start to feel heavy. You’ll train longer and harder with the help of caffeine.
Nobody likes muscle soreness. While often perceived as a necessary part of the muscle building process, the pains and stiffness of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can really put a damper on your training for other muscle groups. Caffeine, with its ability to alter perceived exertion throughout a workout, can help to limit the amount of DOMS you will encounter.
One of the frequently overlooked benefits of using caffeine is the way it benefits the user, mentally. Having a serious new level of focus will allow you to prepare meals, plan workouts, and manage the rest of your day in such a manner that your bodybuilding and lifting goals are more likely to be met. If you’re clear-headed and focused at work and school, you’ll feel accomplished and won’t be distracted during your workouts. You’ll sleep better, knowing all important daily tasks are complete. Caffeine keeps your brain on track so that you can keep your body on track!
Most athletes tend to focus upon the performance based benefits of a supplement like caffeine. What they often miss are the health benefits of their training and how it will help them in the long run. People who use caffeine in the form of daily coffee consumption enjoy a number of proven health benefits which any lifter would certainly enjoy. The antioxidants and nutrients in coffee lead to reductions in cases of diabetes, alzheimers, dementia, Parkinson’s, and depression. Additional, increased liver function is often observed. Caffeine can be a boost to your training, and your longevity as well!
Be sure not to overdo it with the caffeine. Consuming more than 600 mg per day can lead to many ill side effects which may hinder your lifting objectives. Elevated levels of irritability, nervousness, and restlessness can leave you frustrated with everything and everyone around you. Insomnia will keep you up at night, meaning you cannot give your body the sleep it needs to recover from your day’s tough workouts. Dehydration can leave the muscles of your body looking small and flat, and opens up the possibility for cramping during training. Caffeine can be a blessing when used moderately, but can derail your training and personal life if overused.