Sunday, 1 June 2008


You may wonder why caffeine has been added to the supplement section rather than the nutrition section. The truth behind this is that even though caffeine is not a supplement from a store you buy it is still a supplement used for various reasons in weight trainnig.

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system and is found in many food products but in its most natural form is found in Tea, Coffee, Guarana Berries, Kola Nuts, Cocoa and Yerba Mate.

Although foods with added caffeine may hold higher levels of caffeine in their ingredients compared to the list above, caffeine in its natural form is the best supplement to take.

For those who are unsure of caffeine levels in products, the average cup of coffee holds 100 milligrams of caffeine.

So how does caffeine works as a training supplement?

Lifting More

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) by activating the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), this branch of the central nervous system causes an increase in heart rate, an improvement in blood flow and blood pressure to the muscle as well as the release of glucose from the liver.

Due to the above some power lifters and body builders actually drink coffee while they are training to give them an edge. The edge is due to the increase in blood flow to the muscles which can help lift that extra few reps or that extra few pounds/kilograms in weight.

Fat Loss

Caffeine carries Paraxanthine which aids lipolysis through helping the body to use fatty acids as a fuel. Not only this, caffeine is also believed to suppress a persons appetite and also help with energy expenditure (burning calories) through the thermogenic effect.

Mental Alertness

As well as aiding fat loss and the potential for greater physical strength caffeine also improves mental awareness making a person more alert and improving reaction times. Given that a persons mental state of mind can also be a big factor in how much they can lift caffeine can give a person the mental strength to lift that extra rep due to feeling alert and awake.