Take away points
- I don’t believe you need a pre-workout full of stimulates during your average day to day training sessions.
- Caffeine is great for both physiological and psychological performance enhancement.
- Use caffeine as a “tool in your tool box” when needed before or during training or competition.
- Test different dosages during training sessions to find what’s right for you. Never test for the first time during competition.
- Try using Revvies Caffeine strips. I use them with my athletes and they are fantastic.
If you are an athlete, a weekend warrior or just hit the gym to keep fit and healthy there is no doubt you would have either had a coffee, an energy drink or pre-workout before your training or competition to try and gain an edge. Generally, caffeine is very effective and safe to use however the amount, frequency and timing of caffeine can often be improved on.
Pre-Workouts are huge at the moment and almost all of them contain a very high dosage of caffeine (150-300mg!!) and other stimulants. I commonly hear people say that a pre-workout has given them heart palpitations, panic attacks, make them feel like they are on a stimulatory drug followed by a big mood crash. Some report great workouts, however, the effect wears off after a few weeks and then when they stop taking the pre-workout they end up feeling like their workouts are terrible.
The research into caffeine and performance suggest that there is no drop-off in results over time. As in, an athlete can take caffeine in whatever form and it will have the same performance enhancing effect on day one as it will on day 100. I agree in part with these studies however in practice and speaking with many other athletes, coaches and dietitians I have found athletes have a drop-off effect from taking caffeine and I think this is actually more psychological than anything.
For example. An athlete I am currently training has one coffee a day and no other caffeine before training or during competition, unless needed ie “Tool in the tool box”. A few weeks ago at a national competition, he was flat as a tack mentally and physically. Nothing had changed in his prep it was just one of those days. We decided to try a dosage of caffeine that we had tested previously in training to see if this would spark him into winning form. After around 30mintues he was ready and focused and ended up turning his day around and won.
I believe the caffeine had both a physiological and psychological performance enchanting effect on my athlete pulling him out of his slump. If he used caffeine before every training session and then on race day, I don’t think he would have performed as well, most likely because he wouldn’t have noticed the caffeine working where as he noticed it kick in on this day.
I didn’t add any caffeine to my pre – workout that I made for my athletes because it’s just not needed in large dosages on a daily basis and I wanted my athletes to able to train harder without stimualnts like caffine. There also is the added benefit of being able to use a formula that enhances performance on competition day without a stimulatory effect. Most athletes are already nervous enough on race day!
What I recommend and currently do with my athletes is have a packet of Revvies on hand. They are small strips of caffeine that melt on your tongue in perfect 40mg dosages per strip that you can even cut to be more specific on dosage. These can be added to my pre-workout if you are having a flat day at training or as mentioned above before or during competition.
Revvies have been developed in Australia with a Sports Nutritionist on board and with 3rd party testing for WADA banned substances. I have no affiliation with them, I purchase the Revvies product at retail for my athletes and YES I am recommending another sports supplement brand that is not my own for this. I only want to recommend whats best for athletes and sports people.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime.
Jarah Breese BAppSc (Ex&SpS) MSc High Performance Science