Not just a stimulant
When mixed together, water and caffeine are easily absorbed into the bloodstream and then rapidly transported through the blood-brain barrier to work their magic. When given caffeine, your brain releases its natural supply of stimulants and you get a cascade of potent psychoactive effects. Caffeine’s molecular structure is very similar to a molecule in the brain, known as adenosine.
When adenosine is located in its receptor areas, it makes you feel tired, which ensures that your body gets as much rest as it needs. But, since it’s similar to the molecule of adenosine, caffeine can also get inside the adenosine receptors. Since adenosine molecules are not present, sometimes up to 5 hours, you won’t feel tired, but energized and alert instead. When it keeps the adenosine receptors occupied, caffeine increases the release and circulation of a multitude of stimulants found naturally in the brain, such as the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, adrenaline and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
The individual and combined effects of these compounds, when released in high amounts, control anxiety, decrease depression, increase your mood and motivation, fight off mental fatigue and increase the overall sense of well-being. That’s why caffeine can be considered more as an enabler of stimulants than a stimulant itself. In either case, when used properly, this great supplement, can positively change your brain chemistry.
Should you consume it or not ?
The general conclusion is that when taken in proper doses and not abusing it, caffeine can greatly improve overall human body performance and better than any other stimulant. Regardless of whether you’re striving to hit a new one rep max, trying to build as much muscle as possible, preparing for an endurance competition or trying to channel all of your mental energy into a creative project, caffeine, along with its numerous positive effects, should be a staple ingredient in everyday life.
If you keep the upper limit to 500mg daily taken in separate doses evenly spaced out, or taken at strategic times, like when getting 200 grams before training to prepare yourself prepared mentally and physically for the upcoming exertion, you will find that caffeine is the best performance-enhancing stimulant you ever find. Taking into consideration that it only starts becoming toxic at approximately 150mg of bodyweight (for a person of an average weight of 80kg that would amount to 12g or 80 cups of coffee), caffeine has the lowest risk of causing any kind of health issues. And even better, it doesn’t require any prescription and it’s perfectly legal to buy.
However, as with any substance, it can cause addiction and brings a multitude of side effects including headaches, lethargy which could last 8-12 days after eliminating it from your diet. In order the get the most benefits, drink coffee early in the day and do not drink it 4-5 hours before going to bed. You can also cycle it, for example, you can drink 1-2 cup a day and then increase the dosage to 5-6 over the next 5 days, to make it more effective. Caffeine is found in its most effective form in a good pre-workout supplement. These are excellent for taking your physical and mental performance to an entirely new level.
Simply put, caffeine can become your best training partner, and not just for training performance, it can help in all areas of life.