What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant that has been widely researched within sports nutrition and used by many athletes both professional and amateur the world over to great effect.
What are the benefits of caffeine?
Caffeine doesn’t provide any additional energy in itself but during periods of high intensity exertion it helps you to maintain a work level that you wouldn’t otherwise achieve. Rather than working directly on the muscles, it’s actually tricking your brain into thinking that you are less tired than you really are.
The brain is the ‘central governor’ of fatigue and is responsible for the regulation of effort. As intensity increases or duration is extended, the brain will detect the increased acidosis from the increase in lactic acid, and the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in your muscle tissue from the additional energy production. It knows this is disturbing the homeostasis of your body and will try to slow you down as a result. Caffeine can override this effect, helping you to maintain your effort level when you might otherwise slow down and eventually stop.
How much Caffeine?
Spriet (2014) published one of the most well-regarded reviews on caffeine and exercise performance. Benefits on exercise have been found with doses between 3-12mg per kilo of body weight. For the average 75kg athlete this means effective dosages lie between 225mg to 900mg. RACESTAK contains a dosage of 225mg which provides an effective dosage on top of your natural baseline.
Caffeine has a half life of 5-6 hours and can take time to peak in the blood stream which is why RACESTAK should ideally be taken 30-45 minutes before exercise.
Spriet L. L. (2014) Exercise and sport performance with low doses of caffeine. Sports Medicine 44 Suppl 2:S175-84