Caffeine In Bodybuilding – Truth and Facts


In bodybuilding, caffeine, which can be found in mate, guarana, green tea and many other products is used as a mean to increase concentration and productivity. Stimulation of the central nervous system allows the athlete to solve the tasks set by the coach, and to complete the training in full, despite fatigue, a shortage of calories on ripping and distractions of any kind. According to studies, a single dose of caffeine about 250 mg increases the athlete’s performance and helps to perform longer. In practice, the substance is used on the stage of ripping to give the opportunity to train as usual without gaps, even if a strict diet is used. There is evidence that caffeine accelerates fat burning and metabolic processes. It can help to lose weight, especially against the background of a well-chosen training program and nutrition.

Consumption Effects

Caffeine is expected to:

  • Increase the energy potential of the body
  • Accelerate protein synthesis processes and reactions of the nervous system
  • Relieve fatigue and drowsiness
  • Extend permissible time under strain
  • Increase strength and endurance
  • Improve adaptation to training stress 

It is known that caffeine intake is prohibited in track and field athletics competitions. The substance is identified as doping and can significantly stimulate the central nervous system, increase its productivity and help to achieve higher results.

Caffeine in bodybuilding helps to adapt to training stress and allows one to concentrate on workout, regardless of fatigue, job exhaustion or bad sleep. In case of taking an excess dose, the opposite effect will take place. Overdose leads to feelings of drowsiness, fatigue, heart rhythm disturbances, and lack of ability to train effectively.

To speed up the metabolism, it is advised to take caffeine about 30 minutes before workout. If a separate cardio is practiced, then right before it. To improve strength performance, dosages about 250 mg are taken prior to pyramid sets or competitions. It was experimentally found that athletes add about 1-2 kg in a bench press if they use this simple trick.

How to take caffeine in bodybuilding


In bodybuilding, high doses of compound are used (about 200-400 mg once). Recommendations can be found that athletes up to 75 kg can take only 200 mg of caffeine, while heavier ones can add an extra portion. But in reality, the amount does not depend on the weight of the athlete, since it is necessary to take into account the excitability of the central nervous system, condition of other organs and systems and general response of the body. There are people who are completely intolerant of this substance. They experience only drowsiness and fatigue from any dosage, and therefore do not feel the increase of athletic performance. It is better for such athletes to choose a pre-training amino acid complex, and not to experiment with caffeine.

Those who feel relatively fine should consider:

  • Cardiovascular system condition. Caffeine is prohibited for people with high blood pressure, tachycardia and chronic heart diseases. Even if the athlete does not feel discomfort, he must avoid an increased load on the cardiovascular system, and abandon the controversial substances
  • Kidneys and liver condition. There is evidence that for diseases of the excretory system, caffeine is recommended to be excluded until complete recovery. The reason is not the toxicity of the substance, but the fact that the athlete’s body cannot cope with the acceleration of certain metabolic reactions, and the diuretic effect of caffeine
  • Central neural system (CNS) performance. The peculiarities of response to caffeine are rarely taken into account by athletes. It is possible that when the concentration rises, the body works perfectly fine, and it feels great during the workout, but after the workout the athlete cannot sleep for a long time. Then it is worth giving up caffeine in favor of other substances that do not contain stimulants
  • Autonomous nervous system (ANS) condition. Many athletes complain about having limb tremors after consuming caffeine. It is absolutely not necessary the result of an overdose of the active substance. Sometimes it’s just an individual reaction

Side effects


Caffeine is one of the controversial substances regarding the presence of side effects. Many athletes claim that it does not have any, but doctors are sure of the opposite. On the part of the cardiovascular system, caffeine provokes tachycardia, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. As for the lungs – rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and respiratory rhythm disturbance. Excretory system often reacts with a powerful diuretic effect.

Caffeine overdose provokes tinnitus, dizziness, visual effect of red dots in the field of sight, pressure in the temples, a sensation of pulsation of the blood. Sometimes the fingers go numb, cold sweat appears, and a sensation of hypoglycemia occurs.

Caffeine can cause laxative action, and provoke a digestive upset. An overdose of the substance enhances this effect. From the gastrointestinal tract, discomfort in the oral cavity, dry mucous membranes, and excessively active outflow of bile are often found.


Caffeine reviews are controversial. Many athletes consume it in large doses, and do not take into account the caffeine content in pre-workout complexes, fat burners and regular drinks. It turns out that they take excessive dosages without realizing it, and then write reviews that caffeine had no effect on them. When choosing supplements, it is better to proceed from the indications and contraindications, and not from some random reviews posted on the Internet.