Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed drugs on the planet. Millions of people around the world drink caffeine every day; many consume caffeine two or more times a day. People ingest caffeine in all types of forms: coffee, tea, soda, certain foods, etc. As popular as caffeine is, it is one of those substances that comes with its own set of warnings. Researchers are constantly trying to determine if caffeine is good for you or bad for you, and how much makes it one way or another.
One realm where caffeine is definitely not considered to be bad, is the world of athletes. Caffeine has been proven to have positive impacts and benefits on exercise performance. A single cup of coffee can have drastic improvements on your ability to focus, burn fat, and generally perform exercises.
How Caffeine Works
When you first ingest caffeine, it is rapidly absorbed by the bloodstream; levels will peak between 90-100 minutes. The caffeine levels will stay at their highest for 3-4 hours before they begin to drop off.
Caffeine, unlike most substances, affects the body’s cells, including brain and muscle cells. It affects each part of the body differently:
- Nervous system
Areas of the brain and nervous system experience improved focus and increased energy, alongside a reduction in tiredness via the use of caffeine.
- Fat Burning
Caffeine improves the body’s ability to burn fat through lipolysis, the breakdown of fat in cells.
Endorphins are the hormones responsible for “runner’s high”, the feeling of ecstasy that people experience after working out. Caffeine can trigger the production of endorphins.
Caffeine may also have an impact on the motor cortex which is responsible for signaling muscle activation.