Caffeine can be supplemented or used through the form of coffee, pill form and through pre-workout supplements, including gels. Either way, it is a very powerful nutrient that has huge effects on performance both physically and mentally.
Caffeine has been shown to improve body composition by its ability to increase your metabolic rate which will increase the expenditure in calories and can also help the body burn fat, producing energy rather than glucose.
“Caffeine’s main mechanism concerns antagonising adenosine receptors. Adenosine causes sedation and relaxation when it acts upon its receptors, located in the brain. Caffeine prevents this action and causes alertness and wakefulness. This inhibition of adenosine can influence the dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and adrenaline systems.
Caffeine dosages should be tailored to individuals. If you are new to caffeine supplements, start with a 100mg dose. Typically, 200mg of caffeine is used for fat-burning supplementation, while acute strength increases occur at higher doses, 500mg and above. Researchers tend to use a dosage range of 4-6mg/kg bodyweight. Caffeine can be supplemented through popular beverages, like coffee, tea and energy drinks, but it can also be taken in a pill form. Many of caffeine’s effects, including fat burning, strength benefits, and euphoria, are subject to tolerance, and may not occur in people used to caffeine, no matter how large the dose is.
To supplement caffeine with 3mg per kg of bodyweight has been found to increase power output when a study was tested on a group of trainees performing the bench press or squat. Results of this test saw that caffeine has a direct effect on the muscles rather than the central nervous system when consumed prior to a workout.
This, therefore, will improve the muscular strength and overall output of power and will yield better results in terms of both increasing one rep max lifts as well as gaining muscle mass. Caffeine is also seen to be highly effective for anyone who takes part in ‘double sessions’ or training twice per day. Taking 8mg of caffeine per kg of bodyweight after session 1 has been found to be hugely effective when performing session 2, 4 hours later. This was a study performed on those who took part in a glycogen depletion workout followed by a sprint interval workout.