Caffeine and How It Can Help You

Caffeine can help you reach your personal fitness goals. All about caffeine and why you might give it a shot.

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is one of very few supplements that have been proven by research to work. It occurs naturally in coffee beans and various foods like dark cocoa. 

Why should you consume Caffeine?

Caffeine acts as a stimulant to improve mood, increase alertness and delay fatigue. There are also potentially some weight loss benefits. These effects are all largely related to how regular a coffee drinker you are, with regular consumers needing a larger does.

Caffeine reduces your perception of exertion in mainly aerobic activities so, your endurance activities won't feel as hard. In fact, many endurance athletes use it as an ergonomic aid as detailed here in the Atlantic.

You should know how your body is going to respond to taking caffeine. If you've never taken much before an event, try out lower doses and see how your react.

Where can You get Caffeine?

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Caffeine is the only drug that is present naturally or regularly added to food products.

  • Pill or powder form
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Other Common Sources like energy drinks

Clearly caffeine has a large place in food and beverage industy. You can even make your own Vietnamese coffee Popsicle's.

Are There Potential Side Effects to Caffeine Consumption?

You may notice that you're more pleasant after consuming your morning cup of Joe. Your friends and family may take note of this and avoid you until after this point in your day. On a more serious note some potential side effects of caffeine include:

  • Complications in those who have high blood pressure (caffeine provides some vasoconstriction)
  • Lowered sleep quality
  • Withdrawal symptoms when regular caffeine drinkers cease their habit

There are varying levels of evidence in these potential negative effects of caffeine consumption so there may or may not be anything to worry about. The FDA is as of 2016, investigating whether or not added caffeine can have harmful health effects.

WebMD however notes there are several common myths about caffeine consumption so, don't lose sleep over it.

Interested in A Deep Dive into Further Learning?

If you're interested in further reading on Caffeine research, there is a journal specifically dedicated to this. Pricing is not publicly available, they want to give you call to likely sell you additional access.

Examine.com also does a great job of covering the pharmacology and studies tied to various supplements, including caffeine. The depth of their site goes way beyond the scope of this article.