Calculating Caffeine for Performance

Calculating Caffeine for Performance

Caffeine use has become a daily staple with over 90% of adults using it throughout their daily life. It also packs a punch in the sports nutrition world with well documented performance increases in both endurance and strength sports.

How you ask? Caffeine binds to receptors in the brain that disable the perception of tiredness and fatigue. This also helps with alertness and possibly even accuracy in sports.

Here are some tips to get the most out of caffeine in sport: 

  • Caffeine generally takes 30-60 minutes to peak so plan ahead of events to get your caffeine on board nice and early
  • Caffeine can be added into your sports nutrition plans in micro doses to consistently deliver small amounts. For example, selected PURE Fluid and Energy Gel flavours contain 30mg of caffeine which is equivalent to ~ 1/3 of a single shot of coffee. Look for the green line across the top of the gel to spot the caffeine. 
  • Don't overdose on caffeine. Excessive intake over approximately 3-4 cups of coffee (~400mg) can cause increases in heart rate, sweating, race day nerves and stomach upset
  • Consider cutting your caffeine intake back (or out completely) to get increased benefit of use in sports, however do this at least a few weeks out to avoid withdrawal symptoms impacting your event 

Training caffeine tips

  • Caffeine can stay in your system for over 10 hours so be aware of including it to fuel afternoon trainings
  • Aim to have your final coffee 8 hours before bed to protect sleep quality
  • Have an adequate lunch with protein and carbohydrates to fuel your afternoon energy levels
  • Have a pre-training snack high in carbs (30 mins prior) to increase your blood glucose through food rather than caffeine
  • Use a non-caffeinated pre-workout to get other benefits (beta-alanine and vasodilators)
  • Take notes of your total food consumption, sleep quality and hydration and see if there is anything else you can do to minimise the need for coffee in the afternoon
  • Try replacing your afternoon coffee with a decaffeinated option