Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Some individuals just naturally are pumped about going to the gym, but do you need a little boost to get stoked about your workout? Well, rest assured you are not the only one!
Caffeine is one of the biggest products out on the market: coffee, monsters, Redbull, BPI Sports, GNC products, Dymatize, Cellucore… and the list goes on and on! Many products labeled pre-workout are claiming to enhance performance; they contain a significant amount of caffeine. Does it really work?
Truthfully, the companies selling the products want you to believe they work, and some people using the products say they work. It has been argued that it is a placebo effect, meaning: this product tells you it will make you lift like the Hulk, so you think you can lift like the Hulk therefore you become a gym badass for an hour and crush every big lift in your workout!
Ughhhh, YEAH BUDDY!
Go ahead, laugh it up, say, “it is just in your head”, but science is supporting that caffeine can enhance performance.
A recent study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning tested how coffee, caffeine, decaf, and placebo, affect resistance exercises including the squat and bench press. Keep in mind this is just one study! It was found that squat repetitions were higher with 2 cups of strong tasting coffee or decaf coffee paired with a caffeine supplement, than decaf coffee and a placebo. But, significant differences were not found for the bench press. It is thought that caffeine enhances excitation contraction coupling via the sodium potassium pump and inhibits negative effects of adenosine neurotransmission. WHAT?????? Let’s get real with this: caffeine is thought to help our body deliver more ATP (energy juices) to your muscles at the cellular level, and helps aid in arousal and pain perception in the neural level. Lift more with less pain!
YEAH BOYYY, drink it up. NO, but wait!
What does this mean? Use caffeine or don’t use it? It means, consider when to use it. There are some negative effects of caffeine in large doses: tachycardia, metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and ketosis. Ok, yeah right, real words: fast heart beat, acidic blood, excess glucose in blood, and overworked liver! All of which can be detrimental to your workout. Fatal dose of caffeine is 14g or 150-200 mg/kg. A typical 8-ounce cup has about 95mg of caffeine.
My advice is just like everything in our diet, MODERATION. Find your Folgers and go get the Green Mountain but keep in mind all those added creams and sugars (those sneak up on you!). Coffee in your diet has not been proven dangerous if kept at reasonable levels. Also, a little coffee or caffeine in your system may actually beef up your booty busting and quad killing squats. Get your kick in the morning, stay hydrated, and get pumped!!