For some caffeinated beverages are the only way to get going and stay moving throughout the day. Believe me, there are times that a caffeine jolt is the only thing that gets me going for my early morning training sessions (which also tells me I need examine my bedtime and get more sleep!).
Some studies have even suggested that the use of caffeine prior to a workout may have positive effects on your body during exercise. These studies claim that when it comes to exercise, caffeine:
- Delays fatigue
- Slows the breakdown of muscle glycogen, which means your body has more fuel to keep going
- Enhances endurance
- Keeps you more alert
- Can reduce muscle pain during exercise
- May lower perceived exertion, making exercise feel more comfortable
While those results may be true, caffeine is a stimulant so it has the potential to have adverse effects on a workout and as a trainer I can tell you that I see the negative far more often than I see positive results from a caffeinated-driven workout including:
- Stomach upset
- Trembling or shaking
- Increased anxiety
Any of the effects listed above results in a less than par workout. If I have a client who is nauseous, trembling or complaining of a headache it’s my responsibility to immediately put the breaks on our workout and determine if they are well enough to continue. In more cases than not, I often need to modify the intensity of the workout and we end up taking it easy for the reminder of the session. So rather than experiencing enhanced performance from the caffeine it results in the client getting less from their workout.
In my opinion if you are looking to get the most out of your workouts hydrate with water or a sports drink prior to exercise and reserve that caffeinated drink for an early morning kick-start if you need it.