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Pros and Cons of Caffeine


Pros and Cons of Caffeine


Whether it’s a coffee or tea, mornings for a lot of people wouldn’t be the same without a caffeine hit.


But is caffeine healthy? Will it affect weight loss? Can it help with exercise performance? The following post will weigh up the pros and cons.


Pros


When it comes to training, caffeine may help in a number of ways. A key ingredient in most pre workout supplements, there is evidence to suggest it may improve performance in resistance training sessions, improve time to exhaustion in endurance training and potentially reduce symptoms of muscle soreness post workout.


There is also evidence to suggest that caffeine consumption may even help increase fat loss during exercise.


Cons


The main detrimental effect that caffeine may have is affect it can have on your sleep. Consuming caffeine late in the day may keep you up all night and a consistent lack of sleep can have a big effect on your long term health and fitness progress. Not everyone is the same though and for some people caffeine can no impact at all on sleep.


Making caffeine work you


Being smart with your caffeine intake will make it work for you. For most people, caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours. However, this can vary a lot between individuals with some people still feeling the effects for up to 10 hours later.


If caffeine really affects you, cut out all caffeine consumption from 3pm. Potentially even earlier if you are planning an early night.


To get the best of the positive effects that caffeine can have on your training, consume approximately 45-60 minutes before your session.


How much caffeine?


For adults, 400mg of caffeine a day is safe. For pregnant women this should be no more 200mg. For exercise benefits, a dose of 3-6mg/kg 60 minutes prior to exercise should do the trick.


Sources of caffeine:





Unexpected sources:


Aside from the obvious tea and coffee, caffeine is found in a range of different places and if you are trying to reduce intake you may not realise you are consuming it. Here are some of these:


- Soda /pop drinks – look out for caffeine free options

- Chocolate

- Headache and cold and flu tablets



Summary


A well time coffee, i.e. 60 minutes prior to exercise may help you get more out of your training. If you struggle sleeping or caffeine has a negative effect on you, try and restrict caffeine intake after lunch.









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