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Blog posts tagged with 'coaching'

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs amongst athletes, professional and recreational. Often found in products such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolates and various other foods. Caffeine does have its place in enahncing athletic performance both aerobic and anaerobic, however there are some significant disadvantages when caffeine is abused. The purpose of this blog article is to take you through what caffeine does and some of the pros and cons of consuming caffeine. 

 

So before, we go into why we should and shouldnt take caffeine lets get some actual understanding of what caffeine does when it is in the body. Caffeine as you are all aware is a stimulant, a stimulant that acts upon the central nervous system. It does this by crossing the blood brain barrier and binding to adensosine receptors causing a decrease in adenosine bound to these receptors and subsequent  increase in circulating dopamaine activity (Fredholm et al, 1999). Where there is an increase dopamaine there is a feeling of greater confidence and this why we feel that buzz from taking caffeine products. So now you know a little more about how caffeine works and why feel alive when we take it, lets explore the positives and negatives.

 

Positives

  • Increase lipolysis- The break down of fat stored in fat cells (Dulloo et al, 1989).
  • Thermogensis- Heat production in organsims. An increase in thermogenesis will increase calories burned (Dulloo et al, 1989). 
  • epinephrine- a catecholamine released by the adrenal glands as part of a persons fight or flight response. Epinephrine release results in an increase in heart rate, blood vessel contraction, and dilation of air passages (Graham and Spriet, 1996).
  • Increase carbohydrate absorption (MARATHON RUNNERS)- caffeine consumption increases the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine. This has shown an increase of carbohydrate oxidation by 26% which has shown a 15-23% increase in work capacity due to the faster delivery in carbohydrates!

 

Negatives 

 

  • Anxiety 
  • Reliance- based upon how much you have and are use to. You will find if you dont consume your usual dosage you will have some very nasty withdrawal symptoms such as; headaches, shaking, mood changes, tiredness etc
  • tremors
  • insomnia
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • heart arrhythmias
  • increase the risk of heat illness

 

In conclusion we can see that caffeine does have some amazing benefits as far as performance is concerned. However, caffeine is an addictive drug, and can have some every nasty side effects if the proper dosages are not stuck to. If after reading this article you are looking to use caffeine as a supplement or are looking for your correct daily dosage please email me on dave@bensonpersonaltrainer.co.uk.