Caffeine and how to use it to positively effect your performance in the gym!
Caffeine is a morning standard for many people in the world. From tea, coffee, soda, to pre-workout performance enhancing drinks intended to improve lifting intensity.
What results can you really expect from your daily dose of caffeine?
Research has suggested that coffee can be used to cut perceived exertion while exercising, decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improve cognition, and increase performance in the gym.
Tea has high quality antioxidants which will help keep your body alkaline and thus reducing the risk of inflammation.
Regular soda contains sugar which will eventually lead to a crash, and can lead to weight gain. Not to mention how addictive sugar is. Diet soda will give you many potential side effects due to the artificial sweeteners. For these reasons and more Formal Fitness Training does NOT recommend soda. (If you want a natural soda try Zevia which is a natural soda produced with monk fruit and stevia leaf. Stevia is available for purchase at Giant food stores.)
There are so many pre-workouts on the market today that finding the right one for you is confusing. Pre-workouts have been around for a few decades and continue are regularlly reinvented to appease the masses.
Pre- workouts are formulated so that the customer feels the product after taking them which gives the illusion that the product is working immediately. Many times this can just be large doses of Niacin or Beta-Alanine which will produce warm tingly sensations. Keep in mind that the reason toothpaste became a signature piece of people’s mornings is because they added different ingredients to make it bubble, thus creating an experience in your morning routine.
What to avoid in a pre workout
- Added Sugars
- Mass amounts of Niacin (You will feel warm from the niacin but it can also make you bright red and blotchy)
- Yohimbe – A product added to pre-workout which has some potentially adverse side effects such as increasing blood pressure.
- Small scoops If you see a small scoop with a large ingredient list the pre-workout you are dealing with a Pixie-Dusted product.
Pixie-Dusting: When a supplement company puts a very small amount of many ingredients into a small serving size to make the product seem better than it actually is!
Some typical ingredients in a pre-workout:
Caffeine – Many of these products contain large doeses of caffeine and are designed to give you the focus and energy to produce a solid workout performance.
Creatine – Is in pre-workouts to help hold water in the muscle tissue and keep the muscles hydrated and safe as well as increase muscle endurance during a workout.
Beta-Alanine – This is one of the quality “feel” products in the pre workout which will cause tingly sensations in the lips. However, the main purpose of Beta- Alanine is to buffer the muscles and shuttle lactic acid away from the muscles thus increasing your ability to do more repetitions of an exercise with less muscle burning.
Citrilline Malate and Argmatine Sulfate – These two ingredients work together to reduce nitric oxide breakdown and increase the blood and oxygen that the muscles are able to receive.
How much caffeine can I take?
The amount of caffeine an individual can take safely and effectively will vary greatly from person to person. This is why FFT reccommends that you use a caffeine tolerance assessment phase with any products you choose to take. This means that you start with 1/2 or 1/4 the recommended serving of the product you are looking to try. This can also apply to coffee and tea. Start with a small amount and see how your body reacts before adding more. The FDA considers 400mg of caffeine per day generally safe, but this doesn’t compare body size and sensitivity to caffeine. Be smart and make sure you get used to a product before taking the recommended dosage. This will keep you safe and decrease the negative effects associated with caffeine.
Go have a great workout!
Mike – Formal Fitness Training
“At Formal Fitness Training you are never alone and you always know what to do next!”