Caffeine (1,3,7‐trimethylxanthine) is a natural substance that has been found in vegetation of more than sixty plants. Caffeine, when consumed, it acts mainly upon the central nervous system (CNS), invoking alertness, cumulating concentration and subsiding the sensation of fatigue.
Caffeine intake at higher levels (150-300mg) is linked to likely health benefits. Regulatory agencies have set guidelines on caffeine daily intakes up to 450 mg/d for adults. So that equals to between 1-2 espressos a day.
Sources of caffeine
Caffeine is naturally present in tea, coffee, stimulating soft drinks and chocolate as its derived from coffee beans, cacao beans, kola nuts, guarana berries, and tea leaves.
Once ingested, caffeine is rapidly absorbed and has powerful effects on your organs, systems and behaviour.
Caffeine in sports performance
For the aerobic competitor, caffeine is understood to prolong stamina in exercise. Performance improvements attributed to caffeine include increased power, enhanced endurance, less fatigue, more mental alertness and better concentration.
During short-duration high-intensity exercise, the main performance-enhancing effect attributed to supplementation of this substance, caffeine, is enhanced power production.
There are a number of possible mechanisms that have been reported to explain the effect of caffeine on strength-power performance. These mechanisms include action on both the CNS and neuromuscular systems. One of the most significant effects of caffeine on the CNS is its action as an adenosine antagonist, possibly delaying fatigue by binding to adenosine receptors, reducing the inhibitory effects of adenosine
Caffeine in weight loss
Positive effects of caffeine consumption include support in weight management. Caffeine has been linked to weight loss.
Energy balance is the leading factor of weight regulation. By increasing metabolic rate, fat burning rate, and overall energy output – all positive components in regards to weight management and possibly weight loss.
Caution: the use of caffeine for weight management should consider the amount sugar mixed with caffeine and the potential negative effects of caffeine.
The effects of caffeine is sometimes ignored by neuro-scientists. Caffeine is a powerful and addictive substance, with many people experiencing withdrawal symptoms related with its discontinued use. The effects can produce anxiety and insomnia (disturbed sleep patterns). It also has a rapid and profound influence on the brain.
The potential negative effects of excessive caffeine intake should also be considered, particularly in children and pregnant women.