Coffee For Strength and Performance
How Much Caffeine Is Right For You?
Fact: Caffeine is an effective tool used to increase performance during intense exercise (such as weight training or powerlifting). And it can even make you stronger! That is why strength athletes, weightlifters, and CrossFitters use the effects of coffee for strength and performance benefits.
We all love coffee, don’t we?
Coffee is great, but it has been given a bad reputation by those that do not understand its uses and effects. Let me help out with that…
First, caffeine is mainly known to be a heart stimulating drug commonly found in supplements, coffee, soda, and many energy drinks.
Next, caffeine is a great stimulator, both for the brain and the body. It increases our focus, improves blood flow, and can even make us stronger!
The thing is, it needs to used properly to get these great effects and not overused to where the effects fade until they are nearly useless.
Your Morning Cup of Coffee is Ruining Your Day
It is almost a daily ritual for many people to wake up and then almost immediately consume a cup of coffee to get their day started.
Though this may be common, this is NOT a good practice because it prevents our body’s natural waking systems from functioning properly.
To prevent this negative effect, and improve the effects of caffeine, allow for at least an hour for your body to naturally awaken before consuming caffeine. This will allow enough time for your body to go through its natural hormone release to prepare your body for the day ahead.
If you are guilty of this daily ritual, like most people, don’t worry, I can help correct it for you!
Simply start by having your morning coffee 10 minutes later than usual on the first day, 20 minutes later on the second, and so on until you have reached an hour or more before you have caffeine upon waking.
If this is too fast for you, you can add 5 minutes per day instead, or increase the time every other day.
You shouldn’t feel any negative symptoms by doing it this way, but if you do, just know that they will go away after a week or so and you will start feeling better than ever soon enough!
It would be more beneficial for you to try drinking 1 Liter (32oz) of water within your first hour upon waking to improve your metabolism and start your day off right!
For those of you that enjoy having coffee throughout the day, make sure that you take time to read the effects of caffeine below and what the safe daily limit is for regular use.
Benefits of Coffee for Athletes
The goal of caffeine being present in an athlete’s diet should be to increase performance. However, if it is being overused than it will become almost useless as a performance-enhancing tool.
By limiting your caffeine intake to only before strength related events, you will greatly increase its effects leading to an overall improved performance.
You will not only feel stronger, you will be stronger!
So don’t ruin the effects by taking too much too often. Use it as an extra tool in your arsenal for when you need to hit a new PR or just improve your performance!
Remember, you can use coffee for strength and performance, but not endurance. This is because the effects of caffeine only help with intense activities, not long-duration exercise.
The Effects of Caffeine include:
- Decreased sodium (Na+) re-absorption in the kidneys leading to increased urine output.
- Increased heart rate which temporarily raises blood pressure.
- Opens up fat cells for the release of stored fats.
- Increased pain tolerance.
- Improved blood flow.
- Hunger suppression.
- Increased focus and awareness.
The effects of caffeine last about 5-7 hours so keep at least this much time between consumptions and before you go to bed.
How much Coffee is Best for you
Taking 1.3-2.7 mg per pound of body weight (3-6 mg/kg of caffeine) per day is believed to be safe for athletes and has the most optimal effect on exercise performance.
However, for most individuals who enjoy using coffee to “wake-up” throughout the day, a safe and effective caffeine limit is to consume no more than 200mg of caffeine (12oz coffee) at one time and no more often than 1-2 times per day.
This is a good amount that will stimulate your system and will likely not cause any overload or negative effects.
For easy reference, a 12oz. cup of coffee has about 200mg of caffeine.
Overall, the less often you use caffeine, the more effective it will be when you need it!
The same principle applies to any supplement you may want to take. You want to get the most out of supplements by taking the least. If you only need a small dose of something or can do without, to get the desired effect, then take only what you need.
Always talk to a qualified physician and someone who has actually taken the supplement you are planning to try before consuming.
Coffee Pro Tip: Different roasts of coffee have different caffeine levels and acidity. Light roast has the most caffeine, with about 100mg per 6oz, and the least acidity while deep or dark roast coffee has the least amount of caffeine, at about 100mg per 8oz, and the highest acidity.
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