How do stimulants affect our performance during physical activity?

Caffeine is one of the world’s best-known stimulants and is very easily accessible.

Most common forms of caffeine:

coffeeteacacaoenergy drinkssupplements
Rating: 6/10Rating: 5/10Rating: 3/10Rating: 7.5/10Rating: 8.5/10
a popular drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, originating in of the most popular beverages worldwidea seed from which cocoa and chocolate is made of filled with sugar for a quick energy boost. sport supplements used for a boost in energy during intense training.
dark in color and bitter in taste The most popular teas are white tea, black tea, and green tea. Grown in Western African countries.often carbonatedcontains also other chemicals as opposed to caffeine
Amount of caffeine in coffee: 40mg/100gAmount of caffeine in black tea: 47mg/8oz.

Amount of caffeine in green tea: 28mg/8oz.

Amount of caffeine in white tea: 15-30mg/8oz.
Amount of caffeine in dark chocolate: 43mg/100g Amount of caffeine in the world’s most popular energy drinks:

Red bull – 77.4mg/8.4oz.

Monster – 160mg/16oz.
Amount of caffeine varies although most common pre-workout brands contain 200mg per serving size

Personal experience with caffeine

Even though coffee might seem like one of the best ideas, there was a catch. If you drink coffee throughout the day (for example breakfast or at work) another cup might actually have an adverse effect on your body. This is because our body has completely metabolized the caffeine it is able to and therefore a surplus can leave us feeling fatigued. The rate at which your body metabolizes caffeine depends on several factors such as your age, current activity and also your genetics, this means that a person who leads a sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy habits could be metabolizing caffeine much slower than someone that who incorporates daily activities into his routine.

Caffeine can have both positive and negative effects on our bodies, so knowing when to use it and the correct dosage is critical. Personally, I have been testing out various forms of stimulants and the results might shock you. At the beginning, coffee was one of my most favorite stimulants to take before a difficult or long training. Being inexpensive, effective and not too strong would mean that it could be a viable product for most healthy individuals seeking to get an extra energy spike in their sport activities.

Tea is very common worldwide and in most cases people have it in the morning. It does not contain as much caffeine as coffee per serving and it contains other forms of stimulants rather than caffeine. Those being : Theobromnine, Theophylline as well as L-theanine. L-theanine is special kind of amino acid that is primarily produced by the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) whereas Theobromnine and Theophylline belong to organic compounds known as xanthines. These are able to improve blood flow and simultaneously help reduce the blood pressure of your body. I have never actively used tea before working out due to the under-dosed amounts of caffeine, however this does not mean I had no benefits from drinking tea throughout the day. Personally, I am a fan od drinking black tea for several reasons. It acts as an appetite suppressant and if you do not consume too many cups, your body actually takes longer to metabolize the L-theanine within the tea and therefore your energy levels will be spiked throughout the day.

When it comes to chocolate, I would not advise to consume it before a workout. This is due to the fat content as well as the unnecessarily high calories without any specific benefits except getting rid of your sweet tooth. The caffeine is not too high and with better alternatives available on the market, it would be the last on my list. I personally consume dark chocolate only when I am looking for a sweet and healthy treat. The disadvantages of consuming chocolate could be making it harder to maintain a caloric deficit throughout the day, although if you decide to track your daily intake, there should be no issue whatsoever.

Energy drinks are by far the most contraversial. They are high in sugar and caffeine and they can efficiently increase performance. I prefer them over coffee due to the slight increase of caffeine. They taste great and they are easily accessible as most supermarkets sell them. The glucose in the preworkouts might seem like a disadvantage although during your training, your muscle are going to benefit from having a larger supply of glycogen levels.

Supplements are my favourite due to several reasons. It is the cheapest option out of all (comparing price and effectiveness), usually contains high doses of caffeine as well as you can choose from a variety of flavours based on your liking. Preworkouts will give you the extra energy you need for the last repetition or set that you might be pushing through. Most preworkout supplements also contain citrulline malate, this substance improves cardiovascular capabilities as well as strength training performance by increasing the oxygen supply in your muscles. These are only some of the most popular reasons you could choose a preworkout instead of having coffee or even a can of RedBull.

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