On-going research has revealed positive results on sporting and exercise performance when caffeine has been ingested. Contemporary research has shown that small doses of 2-6 mg/kg-1 caffeine can improve performance in a range of exercise activity such as cardio and resistance training. Caffeine has become a popular supplement to use in the present day as the effects can be experienced instantly as it does not require a supplement loading plan like a lot of other supplements such as creatine.
Caffeine ingestion demonstrates beneficial adaptations on the body by reducing the perception of fatigue, enhancing central drive and improving muscle fibre recruitment via its stimulant properties. Other benefits include improved alertness, reaction time, visual processing, and mental focus. Caffeine tends to appeal more to women than men as research in recent years has shown it has the ability to improve the efficiency of fat loss. This is apparent as caffeine stimulates the rate of lipolysis and fat oxidation rates during exercise. The mechanism behind this action is related to an increase in HSL activation (hormone sensitive lipase) in which allows the body to create a lipolytic friendly state. This in turn, basically increases fat burning potential during exercise as long as sugary foods or supplements have not been ingested beforehand. Considering all enhancements, it would seem appropriate to consume doses of caffeine before exercise activity when an individual has a goal of burning fat or is feeling fatigued or lethargic.
Caffeine can be supplemented in different forms such as tablet, shot, or drink stimulant depending on the individual’s preference. Though, it should be noted that caffeine users should be conscious of possible side effects such as tachycardia, restlessness, gastrointestinal discomfort, and headaches. Therefore, it is suggested that small doses of 2-6 mg/kg-1 caffeine should be consumed, especially for caffeine sensitive users. This has been the recommended serving size as small doses still provide the same positive effects on the body as higher dose could. Additionally smaller doses can provide such positive effects whilst simultaneously limiting potential side effects.
Kevin Poole Bsc (1st Class) Msc