Make You Stronger?
I have found that much of what people find fascinating
with Figure, Fitness and Body Building athletes is our dedication to
the sport, our will power and the mental focus we have to stay on track
and push through all the strict dieting and intense training.
After spending countless hours at the gym, shopping
for, cooking and preparing all of my meals for the next few days and
practicing my posing I am often left feeling fatigued and stressed.
Where most people would turn to comfort foods or a few drinks the physique
athlete is left with Sweet potatoes, chicken breast, broccoli and water.
However, even those foods are timed and weighed out! So what do I do?
When I am feeling tired, unmotivated or maybe just in search of a treat
I turn to the wonderful world of COFFEE!
Caffeine is and alkaloid found in coffee, tea and some medications which increases serum levels of epinephrine. Chemically, it is a stimulant and a member of a class of drugs known as Methylxanthines. After ingestion, caffeine is absorbed into the blood and other body tissues within 5 minutes and peak concentration is reached in about half an hour. The half life is approximately 4 hours. ( CrucibleFitness.com, Graham & Spriet, 1996)
Since I don't drink soda or eat chocolate the caffeine I ingest is found in my coffee. When I wake up the first thing I do is turn my coffee pot on. By the time I am done brushing my teeth and washing my face I'm ready to drink my first cup. After my morning coffee I'm off for my first round of cardio which is either a morning run or various cardio machines at the gym. Sometimes about 30-45 min before I weight train I will also drink some java. Sometimes, I have the cup right next to my gallon of water under the bench while I train.
The makers of supplements containing caffeine found in pill and powder form claim their product will do the following:
* Improve athletic performance,
I firmly believe that my nutrition coupled with my weight training is the ultimate tool for shaping and conditioning my physique. Without the proper nutrition plan to support your training and your goals the caffeine you ingest won’t effect your physique. However, I can’t fight the overwhelming proof that caffeine helps deliver the energy necessary for a kick-butt work out !
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia has found evidence that caffeine taken prior to exercise can lessen the muscle pain experienced during intense exercise. The study , published in the Journal of Pain, found that caffeine taken one hour before exercise reduced pain and that a small dosage of 3-9mg/kg was enough to improve overall endurance and delay fatigue significantly. This increased training time by 20-50%. The magnitude of how caffeine effects the individual athlete varies depending on the type and intensity of the exercise, the greatest effect seen is when exercising for 30 to 120 minutes. continuously.(Cruciblefitness.com)
So how much caffeine should you have before working
out? Everyone knows this legal stimulant comes in tall, grande, venti,
supersize, biggie and monster. Therefore, the dosage depends on the
product. The recommenced dosage is 2-3 regular cups of coffee (not caffeine
enriched java from places like Starbucks). Since I am a frequent coffee
drinker my tolerance for the effects of caffeine is quite high. Sometimes
I will run upstairs from my gym to the starbucks and grab a tall or
grande coffee. For more infrequent users it is recommenced that they
start out using small amounts like 1.5mg/kg to see how they will react.
I make sure to keep my water intake high since caffeine is a powerful
diuretic and vasoconstrictor ( which increases water loss and blood
pressure respectively). They should NEVER be used in conjunction with
other substances such as ephedrine (found in Mau-Hung and Gin-Singh)
because of their ability to over excite your Central Nervous System
and cause vasoconstriction, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
Some of my clients and members at my gym ask me how
I find the energy to train day in and day out, how I recover quickly
enough to do two cardio sessions and weight train in one day or how
I'm even walking the day after a leg workout. I think I have found the
culprit! My java helps me on those days I need a little push, it makes
me feel like I can do anything with those weights and allows me to continue
through my workout to the very end. I don't know if it really works
or is a placebo effect but I do know that it works for me! Raise your
cups, eat clean and train hard! If you are interested to learn more
about Caffeine as a nutritional supplement or more tips on training
and nutrition log on to my website www.AllisonJonesFitness.com
or email me at AllisonJonesFitness@msn.com.