Here's the lowdown on the main performance benefits of caffeine, how much you should have to improve performance and when.
HOW DOES CAFFEINE IMPROVE MY PERFORMANCE?
Caffeine is possibly the world's most well-researched (legal!) performancer enhancer. At the right levels, it has been shown to improve your physical and mental performance. There are 3 really well-researched core benefits of caffeine for exercise:
- Improves focus & mental performance
- Increases physical endurance - so you can train longer
- Reduces rate of perceived exertion - so you can train harder
A lesser known fact is how caffeine also helps with muscle recovery; by increasing the rate at which your body replenishes muscle glycogen. This means your muscles recover faster, which is ideal if you're training day after day.
Press release from the APS available here - 'Post-Exercise Caffeine Helps Muscles Refuel'
WHEN SHOULD I BOOST MY CAFFEINE LEVELS?
About 30 minutes before training or racing, or any other time you need to up your game!
Caffeine takes about 45 minutes to fully absorb and has a half life of 5.7 hours. You can keep yourself topped up as and when required during your session with TrueStart mixed with cold water for convenience. A cup afterwards will help accelerate recovery of aching muscles, not to mention kick start the rest of your day.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE SHOULD I HAVE?
Start with one scoop of TrueStart. You can always increase the dose if required, everyone has a different tolerance level to caffeine.
Every serving of TrueStart performance coffee contains 95mg of natural caffeine. We’re the only brand of coffee in the world who can say that with confidence, so you can easily find out what works for you then stick to it.
Caffeine is awesome. There's no doubt about it. But - dosing is key. If you have too little, it won't have any positive impact on your performance at all. If you have too much, you could end up suffering the adverse side effects that many of us are familiar with, such as jitters or heart palpitations. That's why you need to get it right. Knowing how you're going to feel will give you confidence to up your game.
It's a level of caffeine that you can easily manage to personalise your own intake.
The ‘right’ amount of caffeine varies from person to person. Widely accepted research suggests that 2-3mg per kilogram of body weight is optimal for sports performance, so a 75kg athlete would drink 2 scoops of TrueStart before training to reach the 2-3mg range. The European Food Safety Authority have recommended no more than 400mg per day for general use. With any other coffee you could easily exceed this without knowing.
It’s important to remember that the effect of caffeine varies from person to person and individual responses, the politics of sport, and the effects of caffeine on other goals, such as sleep, hydration, and refuelling, also need to be considered. Be sensible with all your nutrition and for ultimate confidence, use training to get your body used to everything you plan to use on race day.