What's all the fuss about Caffeine?
Pre workout supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for ways to boost their athletic performance and energy levels during exercise. While many pre workout supplements contain high levels of caffeine, which can cause side effects such as jitters, anxiety, and heart palpitations, a low caffeine pre workout supplement offers several benefits, backed by scientific research. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of a low caffeine pre workout supplement and why it is a better choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to improve their performance and health.
See if these ten reasons convince you to look for a low caffeine pre workout:
There's many reasons to reduce the amount of caffeine in your pre workout, but we scoured the research to find the ten top reasons you should reconsider what role this important ingredient plays in the most important of all workout supplements.
- Improved Focus and Concentration: A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that low to moderate doses of caffeine can improve cognitive function, including focus and concentration. During exercise, it is essential to maintain focus and concentrate on the task at hand. A low caffeine pre workout supplement provides just enough caffeine to enhance focus and performance without the risk of jitters and anxiety, allowing for improved concentration during exercise. This can be particularly beneficial for athletes participating in sports that require quick reflexes and decision-making skills.
- Better Hydration: Dehydration can negatively impact athletic performance. Multiple studies have found that caffeine can increase urine output, leading to dehydration. By choosing a low caffeine pre workout supplement, the risk of dehydration is reduced, allowing for better hydration and improved performance. Maintaining hydration levels is particularly important for endurance athletes, as even mild dehydration can impair physical performance.
- Reduced Risk of Side Effects: High doses of caffeine can lead to side effects such as jitters, anxiety, and heart palpitations. These side effects can negatively impact athletic performance and overall health. By choosing a low caffeine pre workout supplement, the risk of unwanted side effects is reduced, allowing for improved performance and better health. This is especially important for athletes who are sensitive to caffeine or who have pre-existing health conditions that may be exacerbated by high caffeine intake.
- Increased Endurance: Recently, a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that low to moderate doses of caffeine can improve endurance performance by reducing fatigue and increasing energy levels. Endurance athletes, in particular, can benefit from this increased endurance, allowing for improved performance during long distance races or endurance events. Endurance exercise can be mentally and physically taxing, and a low caffeine pre workout supplement can help increase endurance and improve performance.
- Improved Mood: If it is not at incredibly high doses, it has been found that caffeine can improve mood by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. During exercise, having a positive and motivated mindset can enhance performance. A low caffeine pre workout supplement can help improve mood, allowing for a better workout experience and improved performance. This can be particularly beneficial for athletes who struggle with mental fatigue or low motivation during exercise.
- Better Sleep Quality: And not to pile on the studies here, but a recent article in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that high levels of caffeine can interfere with sleep quality. Sleep is crucial for recovery and overall health, and poor sleep quality can negatively impact athletic performance. By choosing a low caffeine pre workout supplement, sleep quality is not affected, allowing for better rest and improved performance. This is especially important for athletes who need to recover quickly from intense workouts or competitions.
- Enhanced Recovery: It is important to note that caffeine is a critical element in pre workouts. It has been found over and over again that caffeine can reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, leading to enhanced recovery. Recovery is an essential aspect of athletic performance, and faster recovery allows for a quicker return to the next workout or competition. A low caffeine pre workout supplement can help improve recovery
- Better Blood Flow: While the benefits of some caffeine are obvious, high doses of caffeine have the opposite effect of what you want in a pre workout. For the best athletic performance to be achieved, it is important to get good vasodilation, or the opening of blood vessels to allow more nutrients to get to hard working muscles. High levels of caffeine actually act as a vasoconstrictor, in other words, shrinking blood vessels, which reduces the amount of blood that gets to any part of your body. This is the reason why caffeine can temporarily alleviate headache pain. This happens because swelling blood vessels is the main cause of headaches, as they push against nerves in the brain.
- Dependency: While caffeine in low doses is important for many athletes to perform in training, even to the point of being a critical pre workout ingredient, high doses leads invariably to dependency. This dependency can get in the way of the best athletic performance for obvious reasons. But at the top of that list of reasons is perhaps the problem of withdrawal. Because caffeine is a mild drug, over-consumption eventually leads to tolerance, which in turn can require either higher consumption or taking a break for a few days. Both of those options can have their pros and cons, the cons being irritability, headaches and even anxiety.
- What’s Most Important: It's important to note that lower caffeine pre workout supplements contain other ingredients, such as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, that help support performance and recovery. The focus on caffeine is a bit of a red herring because it is often talked about as the most important ingredient. In fact, it has been argued on top of substantial research that caffeine is not the most important ingredient inside of the pre workout. Arguably the most important ingredient is the nitric oxide booster, which increases circulation when you need it most. And, one of the best nitric oxide boosters is the ingredient L-Citrulline. For more on Citrulline read here.
Whatever the dosage it is very important to talk to your physician if you think you have caffeine sensitivity. Caffeine can have some negative effects if there are other underlying conditions, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, sleep disorders, migraines, anxiety or depression, ulcers, arrhythmia, high blood pressure, other medications, and other age related concerns. In the end lowering the amount of caffeine can benefit health generally but be a particular boon to athletic performance outcomes.