Caffeine pre-workout
July 31, 2015 Nutrition No Comments

Caffeine has long been one of the go to ‘boosts’ for bodybuilders, gym-goers, powerlifters, athletes and sportsmen and women alike. The use of the mild stimulant has gone from strength to strength over the past 20 years and it is now in the majority of pre-workout supplements we buy. But why? Caffeine, as we all know, increases alertness and ups your energy levels, often putting you in a better mood… We’ve become a nation of coffee addicts because of it. But lesser known facts are that it also bolsters your pain tolerance, reduces the chance of type 1 diabetes, boosts your metabolism and helps burn fat, thanks to chlorogenic acid (CGA). This makes it perfect for those extended sessions in the gym…

It is so effective that it was previously banned by the World Doping Agency… Though due to its widespread social acceptance, the lines between normal use and abuse became blurred and the ban was lifted back in 2004, putting in back in the diet of over 75% of the world’s competing athletes.

With any drug, particularly stimulants, it is important to know your tolerance and the risks associated with regular use. The recommended dosage for the average adult is between 300-400mg per day, with the warning that daily doses over 600mg can cause insomnia, nervousness and muscle tremors. Some may have noticed that a sudden withdrawal of the drug can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, anxiety, depression and a lack of focus. And so… balance is the key…

Some people are overly susceptible to caffeine and can become anxious, restless and jittery if they have more than 100-120mg per day. Though even if this is the case, some athletes still use it systematically for endurance challenges over one hour long, such as the brutal Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

So how does it work?

As you exercise your body uses glycocen, a type of sugar derived from the foods we eat. Once those reserves are used up we can slow down and become tired… We have all ‘hit the wall’ countless times and struggled to get past it… this is where caffeine can help… Caffeine actively slows glycocen depletion by encouraging the body to burn more fat as fuel, this, in turn, helps you to conserve vital glycocen and helps you go that extra mile…

Why does it do this? Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid and is part of the methylxanthine family that occurs naturally in the leaves, stems, roots and seeds of over 63 plant species around the world. They do this largely for pest control, but interestingly, caffeine is not toxic to all pests. It actually increases alertness and improves performance in useful, pollinating species such as bees, the hard workers of the insect world… And this is where we learn our lesson, from nature itself.

At Intrim we recommend a caffeine supplement for anyone training for longer than one hour in a session. It truly is an endurance enhancing supplement and offers no real benefits to those lifting weights and body-building, other than the focus and pain reduction it offers. Bodybuilders and powerlifters would gain far more from buying supplements with an Argenine or Nitric Acid formula to increase muscular blood flow.

Please note that recent evidence suggests that more than 600-700mg of caffeine per day can increase weight gain due to abnormal retention of fat. So, be careful with your supplements alongside your diet, and, as always, stay hydrated.



Caffeine (Average)

Energy Drink 500ml (Such as Monster, Relentless, Rockstar) 160mg
Mug of Filter coffee (250ml) 60-120mg
Energy Drink 250ml (Red Bull etc.) 80mg
Mug of instant coffee (250ml) 60-80mg
Shot of expresso (30ml) 60-80mg
Cup of tea (250ml) 50mg
Can of Diet Coke (330ml) 42mg
Cup of Green tea (250ml) 40mg
Can of Dr Pepper (330ml) 39mg
Bar of plain chocolate (50g) 36mg
Can of Coke / Coke Zero (330ml) 32mg
Train hard. Live easy.
Article Name
Caffeine before a workout: The facts.
Caffeine is a widely used stimulant for workouts, but how much is too much? Find out how caffeine helps you exercise, and how much is too much with Intrim.
Written by Intrim Power