I listened to Episode 282 of “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast today. It was about caffeine and how it can benefit & harm you. I actually thought I knew the benefits already, but I was wrong. There was so much I hadn’t heard before. First of all, these guys are sort of funny, dry humor, but I did chuckle a few times. I will be listening to more episodes! I love listening to Podcast while driving, especially ones I can learn from or get motivation from. Leave a comment and share your favorites with me here!
I drink caffeine daily, maybe you can relate? Coffee is my go to, every morning. This post isn’t about coffee per say…but that is where I get most, but not all, of my caffeine from. I rarely drink soda…my go to for caffeine other than from coffee is from a natural energy shot. Like a 5 hour energy but without all the junk & synthetic caffeine! This Healthy Energy Shot is made with adaptogens & natural forms of caffeine (yerba mate & green tea).
The guys from Stuff You Should Know, gave some tidbits about coffee in regards to caffeine. They state that a lighter roast coffee actually has more caffeine in than a darker roast. This was surprising to me! I guess the longer it roasts, the more caffeine is roasted out of it. Arabica coffee beans have 1.5% caffeine per bean, Robusta has 2.4%. If you’re looking for more caffeine, go for the Robusta bean. Grapefruit consumption can slow the removal of caffeine from your brain. Having grapefruit with your morning coffee can make the caffeine effect last longer! Who knew?!
Caffeine works by tricking your brain, it poses as adenosine. Adenosine is a molecule that actually helps slow your neurons down to make you feel sleepy. Ironic! When caffeine mimics adenosine and binds to those adenosine receptors, your neurons speed up instead of feel sleepy. Your neurons are stimulated (because caffeine is a stimulant), which in turn stimulates your Pituitary Gland to make Adrenaline which causes your body goes into flight or fight mode; your pupils dilate, digestion slows, blood pressure increases, your liver releases sugar into the bloodstream; you’re ready to fight! Once the caffeine wears off, the adenosine takes over and you feel sleepy…aka “the crash” you feel post caffeine. Your brain also releases dopamine with caffeine on board, which makes you feel good. Also a component that leads to addiction. When dopamine wears off, you want more of the stimulant to boost dopamine again. This cycle can cause sleep disruption. Note that caffeine’s half life is 6 hours. This means if you have a cup of coffee at 2pm with about 100mg of caffeine, at 8pm you will still have 50mg of caffeine in your system. For a comparison, Pepsi One (has the highest amount of caffeine of all sodas) has 51mg. Also note that the caffeine found in soda is synthetic vs naturally occurring caffeine found in coffee or the above mentioned Healthy Energy Shot.
Another great Podcast, all about the E+Shot 🙂
Lets talk about synthetic vs naturally occurring caffeine briefly. Synthetic caffeine is listed on an ingredient list as “caffeine.” Naturally occurring caffeine would be listed as Guarana, green tea, or yerba mate. Synthetic forms of caffeine are made by a chemical synthesis and can cause a quicker spike and a quicker crash, along with jitteriness, nausea, headaches, heart palpitations, nervousness, & difficulty sleeping. This is why I get my caffeine from coffee or the Healthy Energy Shot, I mentioned earlier! Also remember the FDA regulates the amount of caffeine & sugar found in soda, but they do not regulate energy drinks; you have to check the labels!
Caffeine is perfect for athletes! Caffeine gives you an increase in energy and feelings of alertness. It also helps your mood & decreases your perceived exertion, making you more effective in your workouts. Your body will fatigue slower when you have caffeine prior. It also helps your muscles’ ability to use glycogen so they fatigue slower as well. Caffeine is not only good for your mental endurance, but also your physical endurance. Most athletes consume caffeine prior to working out. Caffeine and working out
The awesome thing about the Healthy Energy Shot I use, is it has adaptogens in. These are botanicals that help improve the body’s response to stress. Thus, it helps prevent the post caffeine crash!! The adaptogens act like a vaccine almost, inoculating you from stress. These energy shots also have real sugar in them, but not too much, since carbohydrates are necessary when putting your body under stress (exercising). Watch labels on other energy drinks that may have artificial sweeteners like Sucralose in them which are harmful to your health.
Also check out the clean pre-workout I’ve been using, Amped Nitro
Not me pictured below…but goals…haha 😉