Caffeine Coffee is the most widely used beverage in the world aside from water.
The effects of caffeine vary based on a number of factors, from one person to another. For some individuals one large cup of coffee (150 milligrams of caffeine) can make them nervous, jittery and produce insomnia. Other individuals can become just as high strung and anxious with the amount of caffeine in one can of cola (around 45 milligrams of caffeine).
How Caffeine Works
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. As a result, caffeine produces many physiological effects. It speeds up heart rate, increases stomach acid, and acts as a diuretic. Caffeine increases the rate at which the resting body loses energy, and as such has been used to aid many people in their dieting. However, a tolerance towards caffeine will develop, making the benefits seen in dieting unsuitable in the long term.
Use Caffeine in Bodybuilding Sport
The stimulant and fat burning properties of caffeine have proven to be advantageous in many different sports, bodybuilding included. Bodybuilders can help an energy drained workout session by drinking some coffee to get the most out of it. Caffeine plays an important role in the few weeks pre contest where dieting has made energy levels lower, and increased exercising is taking place.
A Natural Diuretic?
Another role caffeine seems to fill is acting as a natural diuretic. Most coffee drinkers will admit that urine output is increased when additional coffee is consumed. Like many diuretics, caffeine interferes with the body’s water conservation systems. For endurance athletes, this could pose a danger as it increases the chances of becoming dehydrated. However, for a bodybuilder, caffeine may help to lose those few extra pounds of water and present a ripped physique. Researchers have known for several years that caffeine helps speed up the oxidation rate of fat. The reason for this is presently unknown.
Other Effects of Caffeine
An increase in strength levels has been seen by bodybuilders and powerlifters consuming caffeine prior to their workouts. Although the explanation for this is currently unknown as well, athletes all around the world have taken advantage of this property.
It is very possible, and even likely to become addicted to substances containing caffeine if taken in high doses or over the long term. Tolerance may also develop, and it may require more and more caffeine to produce the same effect.
Side Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine should not be used by individuals with heart conditions. Also, given its diuretic properties, those with kidney problems should be wary of excessive caffeine use. The evidence which attempts to correlate caffeine consumption with increased likelihood of heart disease, breast cancer, and birth defects has been sketchy and incomplete, at best. The best advice is to avoid consumption of caffeine if you are an individual with a history of heart disease in your family. As well, contact your physician and discuss your situation if you require classification, and to be safe. Pregnant women may want to avoid drinking caffeine altogether, or if not, at least limit consumption to less than two cups per day. Given the acidic nature of caffeine, individuals with ulcers or other stomach ailments should be wary of using caffeine.
Legal Implications of Caffeine
Many sports federations have banned the use of caffeine in events. Otherwise, there are very few legal issues involved with caffeine.
Although coffee is the most popular method of consuming caffeine among the general public, it does have one big disadvantage - convenience. It is not very efficient to spend time brewing coffee with other things to do. For this reason, fast food restaurants and all night coffee shops have become the norm for coffee drinkers. But even the time required to purchase coffee can be less convenient than desired. Caffeine tablets are very popular among late shift workers, as well as bodybuilders. One problem with caffeine tablets is that they contain the same caffeine content as a large cup of coffee, and while it is easy to swallow several caffeine tablets, it is not so easy to drink several large cups of coffee. As with any caffeine containing substances, it is recommended that you do not overdo it.
Contrary to popular belief, a cup of tea contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Tea does not, however, produce the same “kick” effect as a cup of coffee. Tea will not keep a person up all night, and if this effect is preferred, a cup of coffee would be more reliable.
These are very powerful because they are loaded with both caffeine and sugar. Bodybuilders will drink a great amount of cola to quench their thirst. However, soft drinks have a diuretic like effect which can aggravate their thirst due to the caffeine content.
These seeds come from the cola tree. They contain caffeine and are chewed for their stimulating effect. The nuts have a bitter and aromatic taste. They have not become popular in North America because spitting in public is unlawful, and not culturally accepted.