Culture, Research The Lifter's Guide to Caffeine
This time, we’re talking about caffeine in today’s video we’re, going to be diving into the topic of caffeine, we’re, going to break it down into five categories. So you have a better understanding of caffeine and how it is affecting your training and performance. So we’ll quickly go through a quick recap of the origins of caffeine and how we actually stumbled across this psychoactive stimulant we’ll then go through the physiology and how it works within our body to give us that stimulated and alert effect, and then we’ll go through the Content within drinks and how much caffeine you can expect to find within the drinks or food that you are consuming and then we’ll look at strength and performance. How it affects that sleep, and then, lastly, the dosing of caffeine and how much it should actually take to get the benefits in in a strength and performance uh setting. So what is caffeine and where did it come from so caffeine was actually a natural. Is a natural stimulant and its name is actually known as trimethylxanthine, and it was first developed or by evolution within plants as a defense mechanism against insects. We’Re still not sure if it was in order to kill the insects or just inebriate them. So they were a little bit out of normal consciousness, but it was to stop them eating the plants. So the legend goes that a goat, herder named kaldi was the first person to stumble across caffeine and he noticed that when his sheep were consuming a very specific berry, they stayed awake and alert and wouldn’t sleep.
So he gathered this berry and took it to a local monastery here. The monks boiled the berry to make it safe for consumption by using the heat to sanitize it and once that, once they heated the berry, it released the caffeine properties within, and this was the first, the first tea or the first tea that was ever consumed and The monks noticed when they consumed this beverage that they stayed awake and alert for hours on end and they could stay up meditating and praying for quite some time. And so the word of this magical berry spread through the land and people started to consume. The first caffeinated drinks, so the next thing we need to understand when it comes to caffeine before we dive into the physiology, is actually the dosing within drinks, and this is something that gets quite misinterpreted. People might consume one espresso shot and think that it has the same standard amount of caffeine within each shot. However, caffeine, caffeine content within coffee, especially will vary depending on the bean, how it’s, brewed and all these types of factors. So you need to understand that just within an espresso shot, which you can find in either a long black, a latte cappuccino will vary from 40 to 80 milligrams of caffeine. Within tea, we can find anywhere from 10 to 50 milligrams of caffeine in our energy drinks. In a small can a 250 ml can of energy drink we’ll have about 80 milligrams of caffeine and then in a large can you’re looking at about 150 to 160 milligrams of caffeine.
The other thing is soft drinks. Now soft drinks, like your cola, soft drinks, also have caffeine in them, so your cokes, your pepsis, have about 30 to 35 milligrams of caffeine in it. Now. Why do they put these in the caffeine in these drinks it’s to make them more addictive people prefer the the flavor of a drink that actually has caffeine in it subconsciously. So where does the stimulative nature of caffeine lie? We currently believe that it lies in adenosine. Antagonism now to understand this, we need to know that the main energy source within the body is atp, adenosine triphosphate. So, as we go about our day, doing activities, training, running, jumping any kind of movement just being alive. We use adeno atp and one of the breakdown molecules of atp is adenosine. So as a result of adenosine building up within the brain, they start to bind to the adenosine receptors and we have two types of adenosine receptors in the brain. We have the a1 receptor, which is a wake, stimulating neuron and an a2 receptor, which is a sleep promoting neuron. Now the a1 receptors are neurons that promote wakefulness and when triggered by adenosine, they start to turn those neurons down, and this is why we start to feel more sleepy and tired, as we go about our day and typically, why you feel sharper and more alert in The morning and as you start to hit five six seven o’clock, you typically start to feel less alert and maybe not thinking as clearly.
The a2 receptor is the sleep promoting neuron and when this is by, when this neuron is or neuron is triggered by adenosine and adenosine binds to it. We start to initiate sleep, and this starts to make us feel sleepy and tired and signals that it’s time to go to bed rest replenish our energy stores and come back ready for the next day to attack the next day and be an animal. So now we have an understanding of adenosine and how it binds to the a1 and a2 receptors to switch us off and put us to sleep. How does caffeine fit into all this so pretty much caffeine and adenosine have a very similar molecular structure. So this means that when we consume a caffeinated drink, caffeine fights adenosine to bind to that receptor. However, when it binds to the a1 and a2 receptors, it doesn’t actually promote the sleepiness and the turning down the wakefulness neurons. It actually blocks the neurons and just blocks them from being triggered by the adenosine. So then what happens? We feel awake stimulated and alert, because those a1 receptors can’t be triggered and made to do what they’re meant to do, which is turn us off. Switch us down and get us ready for sleep. Caffeine typically breaks down about two to four hours after consumption and by this stage will start to leave the body and then allow adenosine to bind to the receptors again and start to do their job of making us tired and sleepy.
So you may have noticed that once you start consuming caffeinated beverages, whether it be a can of monster a double espresso or a pre workout, that you notice that you’re not over time you’re, not getting the exact same stimulative effects, as you once did. When you first started consuming caffeine – and this is due to what’s known as caffeine – tolerance as you consume more caffeine, the neurons within the brain start to synthesize more adenosine receptors. This is to counteract the fact that all the adenosine receptors are being blocked by caffeine and therefore because there’s more adenosine receptors, you need more caffeine molecules to block those receptors to get the same stimulative effects. This is the same reason why a chronic caffeine user, when they stop taking caffeine, might feel really really really tired, lethargic and have symptoms such as chronic headaches, because they have so many adenosine receptors that as soon as they start going through their day, and we get A build up of adenosine, they start to hit those receptors and you suddenly feel even more tired uh than you once before. So if you are a chronic user of caffeine, it may be better to wean off caffeine very slowly rather than just go cold turkey. So how does caffeine affect sleep now? If you haven’t watched my sleep video already that we released a few weeks ago, i highly recommend that you, you watch that it’ll be in the uh it’s gon na, be in the description box.
It’Ll be in the description box below you’re gon na be able to cut that, or should i start that again it’ll be in the description box below. So i highly recommend checking that out first, because that will go into a lot more depth. But to give you a quick run in on why caffeine affects sleep is pretty much because of the half life and quarter life now. What does this mean? The half life is literally six hours after consumption. Now, when we consume caffeine, six hours later, there’s still half the amount of caffeine still floating around in our system and the quarter life means a quarter of the amount of caffeine that we consumed is still floating around 12 hours later. So this means that if you consume a can of monster with 160 milligrams of caffeine at 9am at 9 00 pm, you still have a quarter amount of that caffeine floating around your system, that’s 40 milligrams. So this is why you hear a lot of people say that you potentially should have a caffeine curfew, maybe no consumption of caffeine after 12 pm or after 2 2pm. And this is because of the half life and quarter life of the caffeine content and how long it takes to leave the system. So, as we can start to see, if we’ve still got a half life and a quarter life of caffeine floating around in our system, it can have an effect on the adenosine receptors and then actually inhibit us from going to sleep at an adequate time and getting A good sleep quality, so you, you may feel like that.
You are getting good sleep, but but physiologically you’re still affecting your sleep quite drastically. So we understand how caffeine works within the body um we’re, going to take a quick look at what studies say and when it comes to strength and performance. Because again we are at gym and most of you watching. This will be interested in training or performance. In some way shape or form now i highly recommend you checking out greg knuckles article, the lifter’s guide to caffeine, and in that article he talks about a meta analysis. The meta analysis of of all meta analysis for caffeine, and that is the effects of caffeine. On muscle, strength and power, so what does this matter? Analysis show us? It showed showed us that there was an improvement in performance in all of the above muscle, endurance, muscle, strength, anaerobic power and aerobic endurance. However, it’s important to note that this was only for acute caffeine consumption, so this means, if i consume the caffeine on this given day and then performed the task one hour two hour later on that same day, we’re, not sure currently of the effects of chronic caffeine Consumption and most caffeine, consumers do consume caffeine chronically they consume it on a daily basis like myself, and so the only studies that are currently done on that are studies with pre workout supplements so because there’s so many different ingredients in those pre workouts. We can’t be sure that it’s just caffeine, causing those those improvements in those performance markers in that with chronic consumption of caffeine because of the caffeine tolerance that we discussed before when we take caffeine acutely on that day.
If we were to take that same dose for days on end and weeks on end and months on end, we wouldn’t be sure that the same performance improvements would be seen months later, as we build that tolerance to to the chemical. So in one study where they took two groups of participants, one group was consuming caffeine every day for four weeks: uh 1.5 to 3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and the control group consumed no caffeine. They found that the group that was consuming caffeine across the four weeks, their performance actually dropped off by the end of the four weeks, whereas the control group, when they took the caffeine acutely at the end of the four weeks of the study, actually had those performance Improvements that we saw in the meta analysis, so just something to think about when taking caffeine, should you take the same dose every day, maybe not you’re, probably better, off saving those bigger doses and larger doses for when you actually need the sport performance improvement. So now we have a sound understanding of caffeine, the physiology, how it affects sports performance and how it affects sleep. We need to understand the dosing of it and how much should you take to see these benefits so when it comes to sports performance, the current research shows that anywhere from three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight is around the ideal marker for sports performance. So if you take myself 100 around 100 kilo male, this means anywhere between 300 kilogram, 300 milligrams to 600 milligrams of caffeine to see a sports performance improvement.
However, would i suggest consuming this amount of caffeine on a daily basis? Probably not one couple reasons. We’Ve already seen that caffeine tolerance is, is an issue uh. You will get less sensitive to the to the stimulant over time. Two. It may affect your sleep and three we’re, probably not going to see the same sports performance improvements, the more you take that dose. So i would highly recommend saving those higher doses for when you actually really want that sports performance a little booster. For me that comes deep into a competition block or on competition day on normal training days, i usually consume anywhere from 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. Just to feel good a little bit more alert and have a bit more energy. So, just to let you know that your morning, coffee is probably not enough to see a big improvement in sports performance, but it is enough to feel good, feel more alert and be ready to attack your day a little bit uh more viciously just to follow up With dosing, one study did show that sports performance sort of peaked at that five to six milligrams of caffeine and that the participants that went all the way up to 13 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, which is quite a significant dose really didn’t, get That much more improvement in their sports performance, so just something to think about there they’re the dosing markers that we like to advise here in the research backs, but probably not ideal, to take those dosing dosing markers every single day.
So a quick recap to sum up: today’s video caffeine works by blocking the receptors in the brain that promote sleepiness tolerance can occur. So periodization of caffeine may be something that you want to look at and taking those higher doses may not be something you want to do every day, if you’re in a d load, maybe don’t, take those higher doses of caffeine and try and have lower doses of Caffeine, so that you’re more sensitive when you actually need the stimulant a caffeine curfew could help to improve your sleep by decreasing the half and quarter life before you go to sleep. If you haven’t checked out my sleep, video, please go over and check that out. It is in the description box below dosage, for performance is anywhere from three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight just be mindful of using caffeine for performance and caffeine for life and the quantities you should take youtube statistics tell us the 50 of you didn’t Make it so for those people get stuffed for the ones that are still watching? We love you. We appreciate you here at melbourne, strength, culture, if there’s any topics that you want us to dive into further. We really appreciate your input and we’d love. To give you guys the content that you want to watch so, please shoot us. An email hit us up on instagram leave it in the comments below.