Ever wondered why caffeinated beverages and pills are a common supplement category among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts? It has been proven through numerous studies that caffeine can enhance focus, muscle strength, endurance, and pain tolerance, which collectively can make a significant difference in your workout performance.
In fact, it is so effective that it remained in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances until 2004. Here is a look at how caffeine can give your workout a kick.
The Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that offers a number of physical benefits.
Firstly, it provides you with extra stamina and boosts your heart rate, enabling blood to flow more efficiently from your heart to other parts of your body. Additionally, it is ergogenic, meaning that it can help you eliminate fatigue and perform more strenuous physical tasks. It is also known to raise the level of adrenaline in your system. Which results in a rush of oxygen and glucose to your muscles, which will give you extra strength.
Caffeine works especially well with two types of exercises, namely, endurance activities and short, power-intensive activities.
How It Helps Endurance
Caffeine can help boost your endurance levels by slowing down your muscle’s consumption of glycogen, which is the stored energy used during exercise. Muscle fatigue will start to set in when glycogens limited amounts are being used up.
Caffeine reduces muscle fatigue by enabling your body to use its fat reserves instead of glycogen as energy. This process is referred to as glycogen sparing.
Its Super Power
As glycogen is being used in your muscles lactic acid will build up. This is what causes the burning sensation in your muscles while you are working out.
In a study conducted by the University of Illinois, subjects who consumed 300 milligrams of caffeine before a workout experienced a reduction of burning sensation in their muscles. Caffeine also has a positive effect on the calcium-to-potassium ratio in your muscle cells, which makes it easier for them to contract and deliver more power.
Plenty of Sources
Coffee is the most popular source of caffeine. Enjoying a freshly-brewed cup of coffee in the morning or before your workout can spike up your energy levels, but be careful not to overdo it. Over-consumption can reduce the benefits of caffeine. Other well-known sources of caffeine include tea leaves, cocoa beans, and kola nuts. You can also get your dose of caffeine from caffeine-containing supplements and herbs.
Caffeine can do for you what it has done for many athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Whether you are trying to lose weight, stay fit, or build muscles, you should consider incorporating caffeine into your workouts or exercise routine.
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and content manager with over 10 years’ experience across many fields.
Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to fitness and nutrition.
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