By Eric Martinez
September 2, 2010
Let’s talk a little bit about caffeine, I am sure the majority of people are hooked on this popular stimulant, I know I am. Caffeine may be the most widely used stimulant in the world. It is found in a variety of plants, dietary sources and non-prescription medications. Caffeine is absorbed rapidly and is distributed throughout the body water within about an hour; it has a metabolic half life of about three hours and is excreted in the urine as a methylxanthine derivative. It is a cardiac muscle stimulant, smooth muscle relaxant, and a central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, stimulates gastric acid secretions, and increases plasma glucose and free fatty acid concentrations.
There have been many studies that have examined caffeine supplementation and fluid balance, many doses of caffeine that are within the range proven to be ergogenic do not alter sweat rates, urine losses, or indices of hydration status during exercise. Although many studies have failed to show any change in sweat rate, total water loss, or negative change in fluid balance that would negatively affect performance. So is caffeine good or bad for us to take daily? I believe it all depends on your body; everyone reacts differently to certain stimulants. Some people can’t go on with their daily activities without caffeine, and others just can’t handle the effects of it. So you be the judge, you know your body better than anyone else, if it works for you then use it, if not try something else. Some general side effects of caffeine can range from anxiety and jitters, to the inability to focus, and gastrointestinal unrest.
Personally I try not to drink more than 2 -3 cups of coffee a day. I drink one in the morning and one before my workout, and if it’s one of those long days I might throw in one more. I have found coffee to work great as a pre workout supplement; I seem to get an intense blood rush while training. There really is no need to go and waste money on all of those high marketed pre workout supplements online or in stores. Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in all supplements, so why not just try a cup of coffee before your workout or cardio session. Just make sure not to abuse caffeine, this could result in long term health effects. Make smart decisions about what you decide to put in your body and give it 110% in the gym.