Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed substances in the world, with 90 percent of the global populationenjoying a meal or drink with caffeine in it, daily! Grown from natural sources primarily in south America and shipped all over the world, caffeine not only provides you with a much-needed morning kick, but tastes great in coffee and chocolate, lending a familiar bitter taste that some of us can’t quite get enough of. While caffeine is technically classed as a drug, it’s one that’s beneficial to the body in many respects, especially if you’re trying to get fit and lose weight.
You may have noticed that at Luxe Fitness, we include caffeine in some of our products, and wanted to tell you why!
Here’s the low-down…
What is caffeine?
Time for a quick science lesson. Caffeine (trimethylxanthine), is a naturally occurring chemical that, when consumed, stimulates brain activity and the nervous system. It also reduces the onset of tiredness by blocking the action of adenosine, making it a great pick-me-up in the mornings or when the day begins to drag. A typical coffee bean contains between 1.2 and 1.8 per cent caffeine. It is also found in cocoa, tea leaves and certain berries. In some instances, caffeine is deliberately added to foods and beverages or even made available on prescription so that users can benefit from some of its health effects.
Caffeine’s effect on your body
When you consume caffeine, the first thing that is affected is your blood pressure and heart rate, which rises very subtly. The body releases adrenaline, which helps stimulate energy and alertness. As already mentioned, adenosine is inhibited, reducing the feeling of tiredness. Feel-good hormone dopamine is also released, giving you a sense of wellness, but too much coffee can have the opposite effect and trigger anxiety, so it’s important to get the balance right. In terms of your gut health, small amounts of caffeine can help your body to flush out waste (hence a side effect is the need to go to the toilet). Finally, a little known effect is that caffeine can help improve lung capacity, working similarly on the body to the way the drug theophylline does. In summary, caffeine can prepare your body for a big day ahead and reduce fatigue, constipation and low mood.
The Advantages of Caffeine
The way that caffeine works on the body means you are likely to get a more effective workout. In fact, the following advantages have been observed:
- Endurance athletes have seen an average 3.3 percent improvement in their performance when using caffeine.
- A 20 per cent improvement in strength exercise has been noted in studies comparing caffeine intake to an absence of caffeine before a workout.
- Caffeine decreases fatigue in athletes by an average of 6 percent.
- Caffeine helps to burn fat byelevating epinephrine’s in the body, which increases the rate lipolysis, or fat mobilization.
- Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant which reduces your likelihood of overeating and therefore helps you to burn unwanted fat.
Because of these advantages, caffeine is found in several Luxe Fitness products. For example, the Luxe Fitness Pre Workout Supplementcontains caffeine (along with a number of other nutritionally beneficial ingredients) to help you get the most out of your workout.
Cautions on Caffeine
Like anything, when caffeine is used in excess, it can have a negative effect on the body. Symptoms of too much caffeine intake can include anxiety, insomnia, shaking, dehydration, blurry vision, hyper alertness, stomach upset and headaches. Therefore, it’s advised that you consume no more than 400-500mg of caffeine per day and shouldn’t take caffeine in the evenings or if you have been advised to avoid it by a medical professional. A lower daily dose of caffeine is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring, popular stimulant that can work wonders for your fitness regime when consumed appropriately. Always make sure you check whether or not a Luxe Fitness product contains caffeine before use and follow the instructions to ensure the caffeine has maximum benefit on your weight loss and fitness success