Risks of caffeine consumption for the athlete

Caffeine and gym

We must bear in mind that for there to be mortal risks due to the consumption of caffeine, it must be ingested in vital x9 portions equivalent to those that contribute a total of 25 cups of coffee, so the risk of suffering cardiac arrest is literally, minimum .

However, we must be aware that in the sports field things change, whether for good or for bad. And is that despite the benefits that are obtained from it, you can also develop a certain susceptibility to some side effects that while not jeopardizing the health of the athlete, they do come to hinder performance; especially when it comes to sports where motor coordination for the development of a perfect technique is essential. Due to this and, to prevent episodes of nervousness and anxiety, the use of caffeine before sports competitions is not recommended.

The side effects of caffeine, although they are preferably avoided in high performance athletes, also affect people who do not practice or practice a sport as a hobby, so we must be very careful to moderate their consumption, especially if it is taken in isolation, that is, through capsules found in pharmacies or sports stores.

Some of these side effects are:

Muscle cramps
Dizziness and nausea
Gastrointestinal pain
Frequent urination
Palpitation of the heart
Increased blood pressure
Irritability, nervousness, anxiety, depression
Decrease in motor skills
Increases in cortisol levels (healthy people are less prone to these changes)
However, it is important to point out that all effects make their appearance or are enhanced when there is no adequate control in the consumption of caffeine. In other words, the key is in moderation.

The caffeine supplementation
Caffeine, as with most supplements, should preferably be consumed under the supervision of a health professional, and this is mainly due to the fact that its consumption seeks to optimize the benefits in order to reduce the risk of suffer any possible side effects.

Many studies have shown that consuming more caffeine than the recommended does not help in sports performance, but quite the opposite, that is, that obstruct it and also, this is precisely what leads to the aforementioned effects.

Although it is recommended to consume caffeine under medical supervision, the truth is that also, in most cases, obtaining the most optimal benefits comes from trial and error, so it is the responsibility of the athlete evaluate all possible aspects that are triggered in the body after 20-30 minutes of ingesting a dose of caffeine. From there, you should try different measures until you know which is the ideal and follow this regime for a couple of weeks and in times sufficiently separated to prevent the body from adapting to it.

To give an idea, it is recommended for anyone to consume between 1 and 3 mg of caffeine for each kilogram of weight, so that an athlete weighing 70 kg should take between 70 and 210 mg of caffeine before each workout.

As you can imagine, caffeine is a fast-release active, so no more than 30 minutes will be enough to start noticing all the effects (positive or negative) it causes. From there it has a lapse of 4-6 hours before being eliminated by the body. In this way it is recommended to consume the necessary dose of caffeine between 30 and 60 minutes before starting any training.

Many athletes, in order to avoid the loss of time while waiting for the complete release of caffeine, prefer to consume it on an empty stomach, since on an empty stomach, the effects begin to appear before 15 minutes or even 10. On the other hand, a person who is not used to training in this way and therefore requires pre-training as if it were water in times of drought, you should consume your dose of caffeine between 60 and 120 minutes before starting training . This is intended to minimize gastrointestinal side effects that could be triggered by contact between caffeine and food.

There is another group that prefers to train in semi-fasting, that is, consuming only some protein shake of whey, casein or amino acids. In either case, caffeine can be mixed within the shake to further improve performance.

Foods rich in caffeine
Caffeine can be obtained through different foods such as coffee, tea and guarana, as well as chocolate that is rich in theobromine, however many laboratories dedicated to the manufacture of supplements sell products with caffeine in the form of capsules for those who do not. They are very fond of coffee or prefer not to consume calories from foods such as chocolate or guarana.

In conclusion
Is caffeine good for the body? Definitely, and that is why many fitness and sports professionals recommend their consumption before doing any training to improve physical capacity and thus have a greater preparation for the most important skills.

However, it is important to emphasize again that caffeine develops a process of adaptation (more than addiction), that is, as it is ingested regularly (for example, three times a week), the body begins to become stronger to avoid the effects it causes. In this way we will be forced to consume more and more quantities, which is counterproductive to health.


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