Sports nutrition: Let’s talk about caffeine

7 July, 2016 | Written by admin

There is much talk about it , many athletes take it, but … how many
They know exactly what is caffeine ? Hence we have found interesting
present this stimulant and publicize their
virtues and possible limits. By Sara Mir, pharmaceutical

¿What is it?
Caffeine is one of the most widely used in the world stimulants . It is a bitter substance
obtained mainly from coffee, tea, mate , guarana and
chocolate. Furthermore , it can be produced artificially to add some medications (such as avoiding the
drowsiness ) and for some drinks and energy gels which have as purpose to
improve sports performance ( as an ergogenic aid ) .
What are the benefits ?

Being a central nervous system stimulant , achieves to make us feel more energetic, and in sports , can provide
the following benefits (always in specific doses and by a mechanism that is not entirely clear ) :

  • Sports performance improvement
  • Maximizes alertness and concentration
  • Decreases effort perception during exercise
  • Delays the feeling of fatigue
  • Some studies show that improves speed and strenght in certain exercises.
It is considered a doping substance ?
It is not considered doping substant by the World Anti-Doping Agency, so its use is not prohibited in pofessional sports.

What limitations presents?
There are still some questions and limitations, about :

    • The optimal individual tolerance .
    • The suitability of consumption according to the type of exercise.



How much more caffeine consumed the better my performance?
No, because from 9 mg / kg has been found that thre is no improvement. Nor is it advisable to overcome
dose of 500 mg / day. The recommended dosage is 3-6 mg of caffeine per kg of weight.

Does caffeine intake continuously creates habituation?
Yes . Eventually the body is just getting used to the initial dose that produced an ergogenic effect
and just tolerate it without these benefits , requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect than initials doses.
Is there a danger of dehydration ?
Many athletes are reluctant to consume , as they fear that contributes to dehydration.
Dehydration is a side effect and a sign of caffeine abuse . Dehydration occurs when your body rejects more fluid that your body needs to function .
Caffeine is considered a diuretic substance , which means it is a substance that ingested causes removal of water and electrolytes through the
urine. However , scientific evidence is lacking , and if consumed in moderation by people habituated to caffeine does not have a detrimental effect on the
fluid balance.
When and how to take it ?
It has been prooved that in half or long-term sports ( more than one hour of training or competition ) and intermittent and intense exercise ( sports
team ) caffeine helps improve performance , while in short and strength sports careers, the study results are inconsistent and caffeine does not seem
generating effect ( this case is ambiguous ) .
The best moment to take it is one hour before the completion of the exercise as it is rapidly absorbed and
plasma concentrations approaching a peak at 1 hour. These levels remain stable for 3 or 4 hours , ensuring optimal levels during testing or training.
What doses we can found in sports supplementation ?
Caffeinated energy drinks usually contain a dose between 50-150 mg per container.
Avituallamiento en triatlón (copyright: Triathlon EDF Alpe d’Huez)
What we have to watch when consuming it?
Its use should be limited in case of cardiovascular disease or hypertension.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others. Hence should limit their consumption because they obtain the same effect with smaller doses.
Also, if you’re not used to taking caffeine, you may experience a greater sensitivity than someone who takes caffeine daily and more likely to present side effects such as increased heart rate, arrhythmias, rise in blood pressure, irritability, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, diuresis, etc.
Whether your intake is exceeded as if we are people with a depressed immune system or increased sensitivity to this compound increases the likelihood of developing these side effects.
Stop ingesting caffeine in high amounts can cause syndrome withdrawal, which used to manifest itself in headaches and loss of spirit.
Should be limited consumption in pregnant women and in breastfeeding.
Furthermore, doses high can cause sleep disorders, therefore, those with difficulty sleeping should limit
caffeine intake and avoid eating any product containing it before bedtime.
A moderate and controlled intake He caffeine in healthy people is not harmful for health.
Points of interest
Coffee is not synonymous with caffeine. This substance content per serving of coffee is variable and unpredictable, therefore it is not an ideal source of caffeine for sports supplementation.Caffeine may interact with other supplements and ingredients used by sportsmen (carbohydrates, creatine, etc.).The long-term intake of high doses of caffeine (more than 500 mg / day) in general is inadvisable
by specialists.In short Is caffeine good?
Caffeine, like any other supplement, must be evaluated by the consumer from the experience and their
feelings to check and evaluate if it really gives you a plus in your sport activity. Some people do not tolerate well, therefore its intake would be detrimental to performance and should not be taken. Further,for those who suffer from any disease should consult with your doctor before drinking.

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