Nutritional Supplements Library
Caffeine (Also called 1 ,3,7-Trimethylxanthine)
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. Caffeine is sometimes called guaranine when found in guarana, mateine when found in mate, and theine when found in tea. It is found in the leaves and beans of the coffee plant, in tea, yerba mate, and guarana berries, and in small quantities in cocoa, the kola nut and the Yaupon Holly. Overall, caffeine is found in the beans, leaves, and fruit of over 60 plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding upon them. Humans have consumed caffeine since the Stone Age.
Caffeine is completely absorbed by the stomach and small intestine within 45 minutes of ingestion. After ingestion it is distributed throughout all tissues of the body and is eliminated by first-order kinetics.
The half-life of caffeine - the time required for the body to eliminate one-half of the total amount of caffeine consumed at a given time - varies widely among individuals according to such factors as age, liver function, pregnancy, some concurrent medications, and the level of enzymes in the liver needed for caffeine metabolism. In healthy adults, caffeine's half-life is approximately 3-4 hours. In women taking oral contraceptives this is increased to 5-10 hours, and in pregnant women the half-life is roughly 9-11 hours. Caffeine can accumulate in individuals with severe liver disease when its half-life can increase to 96 hours. In infants and young children, the half-life may be longer than in adults; half-life in a newborn baby may be as long as 30 hours. Other factors such as smoking can shorten caffeine's half-life.
What are the effective dosages for caffeine?
Caffeine dosages between 210-1000mg will have an ergogenic effect, varies between individuals.
What are the benefits of caffeine?
• Caffeine is primarily used as a stimulant to improve mental alertness, shorten reaction time, improve performance of attention-requiring tasks, temporarily sustain performance during physical exertion, restore mental alertness, and keep people awake which could be considered advantageous in many sports.
• Professional athletes use it for weight loss in this combination asprin, ephedrine & caffeine. 50-100mg of Ephedrine, 200mg of Caffeine and 300mg of Aspirin. Cycling it for 6 weeks at a time and then taking 2 weeks away from it. This combination is called "ECA"stack. Aspirin, although usually made synthetically now, was originally derived from salicin, the active ingredient in willow bark, causes you to hold water. This side effect is not acceptable during the final weeks of contest preparation. (When water is concerned.)Why is the aspirin there? The aspirin simply prevents the natural reaction of the body to ephedra and caffeine, which is to produce prostaglandins (chemicals that are involved with inflammatory reaction). These naturally occur at the moment your body starts to determine the use of any stimulant.
• Caffeine is also a diuretic (remove water from body) which could help athletes to get more ribbed and sharp look, and also to match in weight category sports by losing weight instantly.
• It also aids in weight loss, by stimulating adrenaline release and (dosages above 5mg/kg body weight) mobilizes fatty acid release .this means more fatty acids are used for energy and less glycogen.
What are the Side effects of caffeine?
• At high dosages,Caffeine can cause adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal irritation, nervousness, insomnia, restlessness,tinnitus, muscle tremor, headache, mild delirium, nausea,excitement, tachycardia, or card arrhythmia. Not for use by children or by pregnant or lactating women. Caffine should not be ingested everyday in excessive amounts; infact, its use should be limited or avoided. Because caffeine ingestion may cause an increase in calcium excretion, make sure you maintain adequate calcium intake, and avoid regular caffeine consumption if you are at risk for bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
• It should not be used if you are taking creatine as supplement, because creatine retains water where as caffeine is diuretic (remove water from body).
• Moderate caffeine intake is relatively safe, but heavy caffeine intake, equivalent to five cups or more of coffee per day, should be avoided. A standard cup of coffee contains around 100 mg.Women who have concerns about osteporosis should avoid caffeine and take appropriate actions to ensure adequate intake of calcium and other bone building nutrients.
• All though it is easily available over the counter, it is banned by IOC (International Olympic committee) above 12 ug/ml in the urine.
• At high dosage, it can dehydrate you body, so make sure you are well hydrate and consume extra fluid during exercise to offset the diuretic effect. Avoid using it with other diuretics.
Is it banned in Olympic/ by WADA?
From 1 January 2004, caffeine & pseudo-ephedrine is removed from the WADA Banned List. WADA labs will continue to monitor the presence of caffeine however and WADA may consider banning it again if it is being abused by athletes. But WADA Director General David Howman says they are continuing to monitor their use for signs of possible abuse,but at the moment there is no need to panic. They classes caffeine as stimulant ,but athletes should not cross the level more than 12 ug/ml,the amount needed to reach this limit varies from one person to the next, but on average, it is equivalent to 8 cups of coffee or 16 cans of cola.