How does Caffeine work?
5th September 2016
Caffeine is the world’s most commonly consumed stimulant. It has been found to potentially enhance both mental and physical performance. It is found naturally in a range of foods with coffee being the most obvious, other sources include tea leaves, chocolate, cocoa beans and kola nuts. The safe daily intake of caffeine for men and women aged 19+ is 400mg per day. The table below shows the level of caffeine found in different foods & drinks.
|Food/Drink Source||Amount of caffeine (mg)|
|A Cup of Coffee (250ml)||80-180|
|Body Volt Energize Boost (1 tablet)||32|
|Dark Chocolate (40g)||27|
How Caffeine makes you feel more awake…
It is well known that caffeine intake makes you feel more awake and alert. This is why a lot of people turn to coffee to get them going in a morning. But despite consuming caffeine on a daily basis, many people don’t know how caffeine makes them feel more awake so here it is…
The reason for caffeine’s stimulatory effect is that caffeine enters the CNS (Central Nervous System) and blocks the binding of adenosine to adenosine receptors. Adenosine has a slowing effect on the nervous system reducing its activity. Therefore by blocking adenosine, caffeine prevents feelings of tiredness and instead increases alertness.
Effect on Physical Performance
Following extensive research into its potential performance benefits, Caffeine is considered one of the most effective legal performance enhancing substances you can take and is utilised by many athletes. Studies have shown that caffeine can significantly improve physical endurance. Doses between 2.5mg/kg body weight and 5mg/kg bodyweight have shown to be particularly effective in increasing endurance performance.
There is a lot of mixed opinion surrounding the way in which caffeine aids performance. One theory which has been suggested is that caffeine intake can reduce feelings of effort, strain and discomfort during exercise. One study found that caffeine intake prior to 90 minutes of cycling resulted in the cyclists reporting higher levels of pleasure and lower levels of perceived exertion (felt like they weren’t exerting themselves as much) than those taking a placebo .
Habitual intake reduces Caffeine’s effect
Consuming high doses of caffeine on a daily basis can result in your body becoming more tolerant of it. This will mean you will no longer experience the benefits such as the increased alertness. If you believe you are still experiencing the effects of caffeine despite habitual intake you may just be experiencing a placebo effect. A caffeine tolerance can’t be overcome buy consuming higher doses. However, having a couple of months without your beloved caffeinated beverages will help reduce your tolerance.
Need a quick caffeine boost? Check out our Body Volt - Energise Boost Effervescent Tablets, just drop one into a glass of water and you have a refreshing drink which is packed with energising B-vitamins and has a caffeine kick.
Backhouse SH, et al Caffeine ingestion, affect and perceived exertion during prolonged cycling . Appetite. (2011)