One highly underrated supplement that you might want to start paying more attention to, including in your usual routine is caffeine. Many people consume caffeine in one form or another throughout the day, be it in their morning cup of coffee, the diet soda they drink at lunch, or in the small bar of dark chocolate they treat themselves to on occasion.
But, do you know the power caffeine can have with regards to boosting your athletic performance? Let’s take a closer look at some of the main reasons you might want to consider supplementing with caffeine.
Just do be careful how much you use. Always use the lowest dose that you need to see effects otherwise you can become heavily reliant on it and worse, can start seeing unwanted side effects such as difficulty sleeping, anxiousness, restlessness, and increased heart rate.
As long as you take a safe dose (for most people, somewhere between 100-300 mg per day), you should be able to side step these issues.
Let’s look at the top reasons to consider caffeine.
9. Improved Thermogenesis
The very first reason you definitely don’t want to be overlooking caffeine is the improved level of thermogenesis you’ll experience. This basically is the rate in which your body is burning up energy throughout the day, utilizing fatty acids as a fuel source.
Those who chronically use caffeine on a day to day basis tend to notice increased resting metabolic rates, which can help you keep those extra fat pounds at bay.
What’s more is that ingesting caffeine prior to your workout may also help increase the level of fat oxidation taking place, meaning you’re burning off more fatty acids as a fuel source, rather than constantly relying on muscle glycogen.
This over time could help you maintain a leaner overall body composition.
8. Delayed Muscle Fatigue
The next benefit of using caffeine is the delayed level of muscle fatigue. Most people are well-aware of the energy boost they get from downing that morning cup of coffee. Before the beverage, you’re dragging yourself out of bed. After, you have a little pep in your step.
The same principle will work with exercise as well. When you take caffeine prior to your workout session, you’ll find that you experienced a delayed onset of muscle fatigue, meaning you can exercise harder, for longer. This means greater progress overall.
If you are doing any sort of endurance training at all, be it a higher rep workout session or you’re doing endurance cardio to prepare for any sort of event, you’ll really find that caffeine helps you go that extra mile.
7. Increased Mental Alertness
Moving along, perhaps the primary reason that most people turn to caffeine throughout the workday is to help boost mental alertness. If you’re feeling groggy, sleepy, or foggy minded, caffeine can help you break through that, instantly feeling better again.
This works great whether you’re at work or just gearing up for an especially busy day ahead of you.
But, it can also work well in the gym also. If you take caffeine as part of your pre-workout stack, you’ll be more mentally focused and driven during your workout, which can mean you perform a few extra sets that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
You’ll also find that you’re much less likely to be distracted as you go about the session, instead, keeping your focus on what it is that you need to be doing.
When you’re gearing up for a PR setting workout, you need all the mental focus and concentration that you can get.
Just remember, too much caffeine – or waiting too long to hit the gym after using caffeine, can actually have the opposite impact and make you feel more drowsy and irritable. Timing and the correct dosage is key.
6. Increased Power And Strength
Another important benefit that must be noted when it comes to caffeine is the fact it’ll also give you increased power and strength. Just as it can help out in endurance related activities, it’s also great for strength and power activities as well.
You’ll find that taking that dose of caffeine helps you lift more, pushing harder than you’d be able to push without it.
As power development very much has a CNS component to it – it is, after all, based on how fast your muscle fibers are able to fire, this really lends well to utilizing caffeine. As caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, taking it will lead to faster reaction times and faster strength output.
5. Enhanced Productivity
One thing you might have overlooked when it comes to using caffeine is the fact that it’ll also increase your productivity. While this is great in the gym and can help you be more effective, getting in and out as quickly as possible, it’s also a fantastic benefit for everyday life as well.
Especially at work, if you have a busy day ahead of you, caffeine might just give you that extra edge you need to get everything done.
Far too many people will state that there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get done all they need to, so caffeine can help remedy this situation to some degree.
The more productive you are, the better you’ll free up time to do activities that you really enjoy and that re-invigorate you, keeping you feeling fresh for everyday life.
4. Lower Risk For Cancer
Those who consume caffeine on a regular basis in moderate dosages may also enjoy a lower risk factor for cancer. Drinking one or two cups of coffee per day can provide this benefit, so if cancer runs in your family, it’s something to strongly consider.
Note though that this should be black coffee – not coffee loaded with sugar. As soon as sugar enters the picture, it’s going to take away any health promotion effects that caffeine may have.
If you want even better benefits, choose green tea. While you won’t get quite as much caffeine from green tea as you would from coffee, with green tea you will get a high dose of antioxidants, which can then help combat free radical damage that could lead to cancer development over time.
Green tea also provides a thermogenic effect itself, so when you come this with the impact of caffeine, it’s a great beverage choice for those who are looking to lean down.
3. Reduced Risk-Factor For Stroke
In addition to possibly lowering your risk factor for cancer, caffeine can also help you decrease your risk factor for stroke as well. Moderates doses of caffeine can help boost brain health even, reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
This appears to be evident for doses up to 200 mg per day. Over that level, you might start seeing more harm than good.
If you plan to use a pre-workout that contains caffeine, make sure that you are being very careful about how much you take in as these alone often contain 200 mg or more.
If you are also adding two cups of coffee to that at the beginning of your day, you need to cut back or risk negative consequences.
2. Prevention Of Type 2 Diabetes
Using caffeine on a regular basis may also help to reduce your risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes as well.
Each cup of coffee consumed per day may lower your risk factor by 5-10%, so this can really add up. An adult consuming two to three cups per day, could see marked declines in the chances they begin to suffer form this condition.
Note though that coffee’s benefits are not going to overcome a poor diet plan. If you are eating high-sugar foods all day long, don’t think that having coffee is going to simply counteract this.
Nothing is going to overcome a diet rich in sugar and processed foods when it comes to diabetes, so you still must be sure that you’re eating right at all times.
1. Lower DOMS Post Workout
Finally, the last benefit that you can appreciate from using caffeine on a regular basis is experiencing a lower overall level of delayed onset of muscle soreness after your workout session.
Caffeine is going to boost blood pressure, which means more oxygen and nutrient flow will be getting to the muscle tissues, which can help with the overall repair process.
If you typically wake up sore after your heaviest workout session of the week, consider using caffeine prior to doing that session. You might just find that this helps minimize that soreness.
Of course you should note that in addition to using caffeine, a proper warm-up, cool-down, stretching, and possibly foam rolling should also be used.
So there you have the key benefits of caffeine to note. If you are not currently making use of this supplement, now is definitely the time to give it a try. You have much to gain from including a moderate daily dose in your protocol.