Caffeine can be a very effective addition to your workout routine, depending on the quantity you consume and the form in which you take it.
Research indicates that the unadulterated caffeine found in pills and supplements are more effective at boosting workout performance than the caffeine in drinking coffee. Furthermore, caffeine supplements don’t contain any of the fat, carbohydrates and sugar found in cappuccinos, lattes and other restaurant coffee. So if you want to get the highest amount of energy from the fewest amount of calories, consider switching from Starbucks to caffeine pills. Please be aware that, as always, there are a lot of sub-par products available in this area and you should consult with a physician before purchasing any supplement. Easy ways to spot dubious merchandise are: unrealistic promises, hyperbole, testimonials from “satisfied customers” and attractive people on the label.
Another advantage of consuming caffeine in pill form, rather than Starbucks form, is that it’s cheaper. The disadvantage of caffeine pills is that you can’t sit in coffee shops with a laptop and headset, pretending to work on a screenplay, whilst pretending not to notice the hot girl reading a book next to you.
As with any food or drug, dosage is of prime importance with caffeine. There is zero benefit to consuming more than your recommended dosage of caffeine. To work out how much your personal dosage should be, there is currently a consensus that about 2 mg per pound of body weight is the maximum anyone should consume – anything more than this will just be filtered by the kidneys and turned into urine. This should be taken in one dose, at the most once per day, and about 30 to 60 minutes before weight training. This way you will get the maximum possible fuel for your workout.
Keep in mind that caffeine will keep you awake at night if consumed too late. Research has indicated that caffeine consumed after the early afternoon has significant effects on sleep cycles. So if you plan on using caffeine as a supplement on weight training days, consider working out in the morning, to allow your body time to filter the caffeine before bedtime.
There is one factor that people often overlook when it comes to using caffeine for increasing weight training performance. Like with most substances the body can build up immunity to the effects of caffeine if over-consumed. This means that if you use caffeine as a sports supplement, it may be a good idea not to consume any further caffeine in the form of coffee during the day, as this will raise tolerance levels in your body.