If you partake in exercise, be it a beginner or a professional, chances are you want to make your training session better than the last one right?

That’s why everyone is looking for the next best supplement, mental performance training and best dietary practices to take their performance to the next level.

Caffeine is one topic which has a lot to stand on which can take performance to another level.  A quick summary as to why: 

– Improves speed

– Improves strength

– Improves recovery

– Improves endurance

– Improves focus and wakefulness

– Positively effects metabolic rate

– Helps with fat loss

How does this happen?

Caffeine works basically by increasing the signalling speed of our nerves so our mind and body can work at a higher rate in unison.  Think about it, the quicker you can tell your brain to your legs, or punch etc this will only improve your movement pattern in your desired exercise/sport. 

Additionally, when we consume coffee we get heightened stimulation and focus which makes you be able to train harder.  Not only that but caffeine can increase adrenaline, which is an awesome training aid for enhanced performance, but if you weren’t aware already adrenaline is part of the ‘catecholamine’ family which helps release fatty acids into the blood stream to be used as energy…good news right?

Time to drink all the coffee you can get your hands on!!!

Not quite.

Before you think you should go and consume 5 coffees per day from this point forward, let’s understand how such benefits can be achieved.

Caffeine is like gambling, when you start betting you feel the buzz from it (energy, focus, wakefulness) and this can then cross over into the other benefits such as the ones mentioned above.  The problem becomes when you assume your body can keep gambling you spend money and will eventually run out. 

Caffeine consumption is the same, it has many benefits, however these are not to be abused.  The more frequently you take something the less benefit you can get from it because the body gets used to it. 

I’m sure you remember that first time you ever tried coffee the physical/mental effects were very noticeable whereas over time you didn’t notice them as much.

Research typically indicates anywhere up to 400mg a day is safe, in regards to sporting performance this can be cycled in and out of your training and nutrition plan depending on your goals at the time and used during the more important times (big events and competitions).

Hopefully this article has given you a useful insight into the benefits of caffeine and how you can become a mean, mean caffeine machine!

Lean, Mean and Performing is written by our good friend Luke Nevill of LukeNevill.com he is a performance and fitness expert. If you want to hear more from Luke then he runs a free Facebook group where he is available to discuss all things related to performance.