Caffeine is a natural stimulant for our central nervous system that can be found in food and beverages. It is one of the most commonly used stimulants in athletes from recreational to elite. But how much do you really know about this supplement? Let’s break it down.

Is it safe?

  • There are no known negative performance effects and it has been determined to be relatively safe. It also does not cause significant dehydration or electrolyte imbalance during exercise as it is a mild diuretic. Like most stimulants, routine caffeine consumption can cause tolerance or dependence. Abrupt discontinuation can result in irritability, mood shifts, headache, drowsiness, or fatigue.
  • It is not listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List used to determine banned substances for specific sports
  • It is listed on the Monitoring List that is used to detect patterns of misuse
  • NCAA bans caffeine as follows
    • Amount equal to about 500 mgs = 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee, 2 to 3 hours before competition
      • That’s a ton!

What does current research suggest for proper dosing?

  • Dosing will depend on an individual’s frequency and amount of caffeine use
    • Low doses (≤3mg/kg of body weight or ~200mg)
    • Moderate doses (3-6mg/kg of body weight)

Does this supplement actually work?

  • Low doses have a minimal number of research studies supporting its use, but most studies have showed positive effects in exercise and sports
  • Endurance Training
    • Moderate doses have positive effects on performance when taken before or during
  • Resistance Training
    • Moderate doses have positive effects on max strength and upper body power
  • Abstaining from caffeine at least 7 days before use will give the greatest chance of optimizing its positive effect

Bottom Line: Caffeine supplementation safe and effective in aiding endurance and strength/power gains if taken according to proper dosing!


Featured Image By: The Science of Parkinson’s


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  1. Hi, guys! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post on incremental exercise. Thanks also for the follow. I am enjoying my visit to yours. Nice job on caffeine. As a coffee lover who cares about his health, I was fascinated.

    1. Thanks Tony! We really enjoyed your blog and will be following along. We’re going to keep drinking our coffee but definitely in moderation

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