Caffeine is one of the most heavily researched and beneficial ergogenic aids available. It is mostly consumed in coffee, with 1 cup containing around 75mg of caffeine. The understanding of the performance effect of caffeine has increased and this has widened its use. Most people know that “caffeine may improve performance” but what does it actually do and how can we make the most of caffeine?
Caffeine is classified as a stimulant and is the most common drug used in the world. Caffeine crosses the membranes of all the body's tissues. It can wield effects on the central nervous system and the peripheral tissues that result in physiological effects. Studies have shown that caffeine can help an athlete perform better. It has been shown to be a powerful ergogenic aid that is beneficial in athletic performance and training. Caffeine has been shown to increase speed and power output, improve the length an athlete can train, and assist the athlete in resisting fatigue. Caffeine has also been proven to stimulate the brain which contributes to an athlete's clearer thinking and ability to concentrate harder on the task at hand.
The American Alliance for Health stated that there are three ways that caffeine may provide ergogenic effects. "First, the metabolic theory suggests that caffeine provides improved endurance due to an increased utilization of fat as fuel and a sparing effect on carbohydrate utilization. Secondly, caffeine may increase the calcium content of skeletal muscle and enhance the strength of muscle contraction. Lastly, caffeine has a direct effect on the central nervous system as a stimulant, and this can help with fatigue, increased alertness, and increased muscle recruitment (Powers M, 2004, pg. 4)".
Many athletes have used caffeine prior to competitions for years, but it wasn't until recently that caffeine has been discovered to aid an athlete's performance. "Results of studies reported over the last five years strongly indicate that caffeine effectively increases athletic performances in endurance events (Sinclair & Geiger, 2000, pg. 2)". Athletes ranging from cycling to those participating in strength and power competitions benefit from caffeine consumption. "Persons were able to complete a cycling time trial significantly faster after caffeine ingestion, (Jenkinson & Harbert, 2008, pg. 3) ".
Caffeine has been shown to increase speed and power. It also allows athletes
to train longer. Caffeine stimulates the brain which contributes to clearer
thinking and greater concentration. Studies have shown that caffeine doesn't
directly improve maximal oxygen capacity but assists in the process of
resisting fatigue. "Although the effectiveness of caffeine as a means of
masking fatigue has been explored since the early 1900s, the use of this
ergogenic aid became popular following widely publicized research indicating
improved endurance performance (Applegate & Grivetti, 1997, pg. 6)".
Like all drugs, caffeine use has some side effects. There is no evidence that
states that caffeine leads to dehydration, ion imbalance, or any other adverse
effects. Caffeine acts centrally on the brain to lower the perception of
effort, which is particularly noticeable in longer events such as running or
cycling. In distance events over 90 minutes, mental tiredness as well as
physical fatigue plays a large role in determining performance as the event
progresses. Caffeine can help to maintain performance in this situation.Buy a good quality products with combined energy & caffeine
It is suggest that you consume 3-9mg of caffeine per kilo of body mass, with more caffeine not resulting in better performance. For example, a 70kg athlete could take in 350mg of caffeine during an endurance event lasting over 90 minutes (5mg* 70kg = 350mg). Everybody’s sensitivity to caffeine can vary, so it should always be tried in training and in small doses initially. Caffeine does not dehydrate during exercise; however it has been shown to increase urine volume, so keep hydrated.In most people, caffeine is absorbed in about 45 min after ingestion. The effect can last between 2- 4.5 hours and this depends solely on the individual. Protein mixed with Caffeine can beperfect for hard training session when you need the protein to help rebuild muscles break down and the shot of coffee to help prevent fatigue and increase power output.
Speed/Power in Long Term Exercise
There have been few studies conducted to evaluate the effects caffeine has on speed or endurance event. Early studies found improvements in activities such as cycling, and treadmill tests. Researchers have studied elite skiers on a 20-23 km course at both high and low altitude. The ingestion of caffeine resulted in faster performance times at the halfway mark and the finish line. The total time was about 55-67 minutes while caffeine resulted in times of 33 and 101 seconds faster for low and high altitudes.
Another study explained individual who performed 2 hours of cycle exercise
after caffeine ingestion. The caffeinated athletes' generated 7.3% greater
total power output. Skilled cyclists were told to perform, as quickly as
possible, a set amount of work that was estimated to take about an hour. After
exercising to exhaustion, seven endurance cyclists were given either a straight
carbohydrate drink or one laced with the equivalent of six cups of coffee.
"While it's been established that carbohydrates and caffeine improve a
variety of athletic performances, this is the first study that has revealed
that combining caffeine with carbohydrates after you've exercised can actually
help your muscles refuel more rapidly (Caffeine Aids Athlete Recovery, 2008,
When the solution contained caffeine the power output improvement was greater. Grab a nutritional energy gel with Caffeine click here
It has been found that caffeine results in glycogen sparing. Professor John Hawley, Head of RMIT's Exercise Metabolism Group, found that athletes who had caffeine with their meal after exercise had 66% more glycogen in their muscles 4 hours later (Caffeine Aids Athlete Recovery, 2008). Glycogen is the body's preferred fuel for muscles when exercising. Hawley Stated, "If you have 66% more fuel for the next day's training or competition, there's no question you'll be able to go further and faster (Caffeine Aids Athlete Recovery, 2008, pg. 1)". There are many experiments lasting less than 30 minutes in which caffeine has been shown to be beneficial when glycogen does not appear to be limiting.
Caffeine is known to assist athletes to train harder and longer. "The actions of caffeine throughout the body correlate positively with caffeine levels and the levels are governed by caffeine absorption, metabolism and excretion. Caffeine is absorbed efficiently through the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration with about 100% bioavailability (Sinclair & Geiger, 2000, pg. 2)".
Caffeine is a complex substance that is found in many organic compounds and is consumed by humans in coffee, tea, and chocolate. Caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world. Food industries are adding caffeine to a wide variety of foods and drinks. Caffeine is found in a number of 'natural health products' and in many over-the-counter drugs. The affect caffeine has on the body ranges from various adenosine receptors in several types of body tissues.
Caffeine is ergogenic in most if not all aerobic exercises. Studies have
shown that as an ergogenic aid caffeine enhances endurance
type exercises such
as running, swimming, and cycling. Studies have shown that caffeine also
provide benefits in anaerobic activities such as resistance training.
"Glucose recovery slows drastically after 3-4 hours, so recovery rates
after 4 hours are excellent proxies for glycogen storage 24 hours after
exercise. If you have 66% more fuel for the next day's training or competition,
there's no question you'll be able to go further and faster (Caffeine Aids
Athlete Recovery, 2008, pg. 1)".
So far there has been little evidence demonstrating that the administration of caffeine substances prior to or after exercise produces a negative effect. One article stated, "The mechanisms involved in actions of these compounds are varied and complex and extend well beyond the traditional explanation of sparing of muscle glycogen to probably involve fundamental aspects of muscle contractility." Many scientists have conducted a number of tests and experiments to determine caffeine's effects and will continue researching caffeine as an ergogenic aid.
Strength training comes in all shapes and sizes, and if you incorporate slight adjustments to your gym routine you’ll find that it’ll be both rewarding and beneficial.
If you have plateaued and you're not seeing results any more; this will lead you to frustration and in the end you will start having negative results and thoughts.
But it doesn’t have to be that way…
Strength training comes in all shapes and sizes, and if you have slight adjustments to your gym workouts you’ll find that
it’ll be both rewarding and beneficial. We have listed 7 different ways
in which you can alter your training workout to suit your needs and the needs of
your body, which will help you adapt and in turn you will start to see gains in your training.
What if we told you that top athletes suffer from the same thing as you do? Inflammation happens to everyone; it is part of our body’s natural response to training and damaged tissues and also plays a role in the immune system response. With modern day advances in sport science we are now able to see just how much inflammation you’re likely to feel from a strenuous bout of activity through the analysis of your genes.
A DNA Kit test will look at four genetic inflammatory markers - IL6, IL6R, CRP and TNF. Variations in these genes give us a clue if you are predisposed to suffer significantly higher levels or slightly lower levels of inflammation. Knowing your predisposition of this biological phenomenon can make big alteration to your training and even more so to your recovery strategies which dictate your training schedule and ultimately your goals.
Acute inflammation is important for healing; however excessive inflammation can result in prolonged feelings of soreness, tenderness, swelling, and also in a loss of function (reduces ROM or range of motion) and could even result in allergies and chronic diseases. There are various strategies that can be used to help decrease acute and chronic inflammation like sports massage therapy , but for the purpose of today's blog we will be looking at foods that can help in the role of decreasing inflammation in our body:
For those people who know me will tell you I am the most skeptical person out there when it comes to new products and fad diets to aid fitness training and weight management. I go to lots of trade fairs and seminars and see lots of new products, most of the time I have made my mind up within 20 seconds. Science has to prove it works for me to believe in something, it’s the way I run my business as a sports therapist and the way I train myself.
I first saw the DNA fitness tests in 2013 at a trade show; it was not something I was not interested in at the time so I walked on by. However, after seeing these tests repeatedly pop up on trade and fitness magazines I started to take more of an interest.
Over the years I’ve personally battled with injuries from playing sport and had to deal with my own weight issues while being off sport recovering from injury. It’s what got me in to my now profession as a sports therapist; I help many athletes recover, prepare and condition their bodies ready for their events.
As a sports person you are always looking for that extra legal edge, that extra bit that will gain you a few seconds off your personal best or just be able to train and diet better for a healthier lifestyle. So I felt that taking the DNA Diet Fitness Pro test was really worthwhile.
The reports included an abundance of manageable and easily understandable information about my DNA and also provided focused and implementable advice, which wasn’t just based on eating less and exercising more. I was particularly impressed with the strength of the connections DNAFit made between my genetics and the practical implications the results might have in terms of my diet and fitness.
I would recommend this test to anyone interested in improving their health and fitness, regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or training for a marathon.
There has been a huge increase in interest in cycling over recent years as more people become aware of the health and fitness benefits’ cycling achieves, as well as its advantages as a fast and economical means of transport. Studio cycling has also grown and has been identified as one of the most popular group exercise formats in clubs worldwide.
Good bacteria can help you lose weight
For every probiotic evangelist there are several that sneered at the idea that these ‘good bacteria’ products did anything other than leave a big whole in your pocket. But according to a recent study, probiotics are very much more than a health food gimmick.
Probiotics, which are available as yoghurts, drinks and pills, contain so called ‘good’ bacteria that manufacturers claim aid digestive health and boost the immune system.
But the jury remained out – until now when a study has found that they do have many health benefits, including proving effective medicines and helping to control weight.
But you need to need to use the probiotics every day to see any benefits and you should be mindful of the sugar content (it’s best to opt for a pill over yoghurt) which will negate any of the benefits.
The definition of motivation is that which gives the impetus to behaviour by arousing, sustaining and directing it towards the successful attainment of goals. Abraham Maslow (1954) proposed that we all have a hierarchy of needs, the most basic being physiological needs such as food, and the highest needs being those related to self-fulfillment. Motivation directs behaviour – it organizes behaviour towards a particular goal state. It maintains behaviour until that goal is achieved.
The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 26 miles and 385 yards that is usually run as a road race. The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are contested throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. Larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.
Although, all of the information that is presented in this article is geared toward the benefits and/or effectiveness of anaerobic high intensity interval training (HIIT) vs. low intensity aerobic training with regards to fat utilization, there is an understanding that some reasons for aerobic training supersede the outcomes. For the sake of pure enjoyment, personal goal setting (training for a triathlon, marathon, road race, etc), and the challenge of competition are all viable and respectable reasons for interacting with long slow distance (LSD) activities. For many people these types of activities are suitable for their lifestyle and enjoyable means of living an active life. The goal of this article is not to discount or diminish the value of physical activity in all its modalities, but to merely present data with regards to optimum fat loss, hormonal indicators, and other factors of cardiovascular and cardio respiratory markers as they pertain to exercise intensity prescription.
In the world of endurance, it seems that you cannot discuss fitness without discussing VO2 max. Ask any endurance athlete about it, and you will hear epic stories with names like Indurain, and LeMond. Many of you, however, may find yourselves wondering what exactly VO2 max is and why is it so important. To better understand this concept; let’s take a little trip back to school, specifically back to physiology class. According to the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). In other words, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) is the greatest amount of oxygen that can be used at the cellular level for the entire body. VO2 max has been found to correlate well with an individual’s degree of physical conditioning and has been accepted as an index of total body fitness. Numerous studies show that one can increase his/her VO2 max by working out at an intensity that raises the heart rate to between 65 and 85 percent of its maximum, for at least 20 minutes, three to five times per week. The estimated mean value of VO2 max for male athletes is about 3.5 liters/minute and for female athletes is about 2.7 liters/minute.
It is ironic that in this age of information, people continue to be confused about supplements. While in The UK alone, billions of pounds sterling are spent annually on vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other nutritional products, studies still show that people in all walks of life (including fitness professionals) need a good foundation in basic supplement information to help them make informed decisions about which products might best suit their individual needs. Because of this, the following is a list of what I feel are the top 10 supplements facts that can help save you time and money - and get the most out of the products you use.