Also known as: Methylxanthine Anhydrous
Powdered form of caffeine that has 99% of the water removed and exhibits all the same benefits as standard caffeine: increases alertness, mood, and exercise performance.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine, also known as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine is an organic, alkaline compound and a derivative of xanthine. Methylxanthines are carbon-based substances that stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS) and heart. They are typically found in coffee beans, tea leaves, guarana, a few fruits, and various other sources.
Physiologically speaking, the consuming methylxanthines delays the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) by inhibiting the phosphodiesterase (PDE) acetylcholinesterase enzymes and , e.g. caffeine is a natural PDE inhibitor. Since cAMP and cGMP are heavily involved in cell signal transmission, the metabolic processes in a cell are accelerated after ingesting PDE inhibitors.
Where Does It Come From?
Caffeine is perhaps the most popular drug in the world as an estimated 92-98% of North Americans consume it daily! It should come as no surprise then that caffeine is literally EVERYWHERE, from coffee to tea to energy drinks to BCAA supplements. Caffeine has become synonymous with our daily routine as showering or brushing your teeth.
Caffeine, as we already mentioned, is a naturally occurring alkaloid compound found in a wide variety of plants including: coffee beans, tea leaves, yerba mate, kola nut, guarana, and cocoa (or cacao). The majority of our daily caffeine intake comes from coffee, although soft drinks are becoming a more and more prevalent source of the popular stimulant.
What does it do?
Caffeine is most well known for being an adenosine receptor antagonist. It works on the Central Nervous System (CNS) by exciting the neurons of the spinal cord and thereby increasing muscle fiber recruitment, while at the same time blunting muscle pain and the perception of fatigue. It's been demonstrated to improve physical performance in all manner of sports while also delaying mental fatigue.
The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord and is the highway for transmitting and receiving signals between all parts of the body. When the CNS neurons are triggered and cAMP and cGMP are activated, cell reactions and other physiological processes are sent into overdrive. The immediate acute effects of caffeine ingestion are:
Increases heart rate
Vasoconstriction (blood vessel constriction)
Speeds up metabolism
Many of these effects are beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders alike. Countless trials and test experiment have studied the effectiveness of caffeine on both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise and proven how it increases both anaerobic and aerobic output.
Caffeine has a half-life in humans between 2.5-4.5 hours. This means that if you drink a cup of coffee at 3 PM, your body will still be processing it as late as 7:30 PM! If you are sensitive to caffeine or other forms of stimulants, it may be best to lay off that afternoon cup of joe so as not to disrupt your sleep.
Benefits of Caffeine
Enhance strength and power
Increase reaction time
Improve short-term memory
Speed up metabolism
Stimulate lipolysis (fat loss)
Enhances effects of other performance boosters
Caffeine content will vary widely across the source though, as certain brews of coffee can contain anywhere from 80-120mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup, while 12 oz of soda contains between 40-60mg. So its important to keep an eye out on overall intake throughout the day especially if you use a caffeinated or other stimulant based pre workout.
Caffeine is absorbed in the gut approximately 45 minutes after ingestion with peak levels measured in the blood around the 1 hour mark. Where as most pre workouts recommend consuming them 15-30 minutes before you hit the iron, it may be wise to take you caffeine hit about 1 hour prior.
Final note is that studies have shown that more is not necessarily better with caffeine and performance. When doses exceed 250-300mg the ergogenic benefits of caffeine do not increase and can lead to other undesirable side effects.
Caffeine is a heavily researched compound that can improve power, strength, endurance, and cognition. Additionally, it can speed recovery after exercise and enhance fat loss. Whether youre a weekend warrior or aspiring bodybuilder, caffeine deserves a spot on your supplement shelf, just use it wisely.