The use of caffeine in sports has already generated many discussions: some swear by its benefits deep in the finale, and others call it nonsense. In this blog, we take a closer look at the use of caffeine and guarana in sports.
Everyone knows caffeine. For many of us, it is a real “lifesaver” on a Monday morning. Caffeine is found in various products that we consume every day. Just think of coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, etc. For athletes, studies have shown numerous benefits to sports performance when used strategically. It stimulates the central nervous system, which leads to better focus, alertness, faster reaction time, and a delayed feeling of fatigue. Since caffeine can be absorbed daily through the normal diet, caffeine has not been on the doping list since 2004. However, it is not so easy for an athlete to calculate the correct dosage through food. A sports supplement with caffeine offers a solution to this. As an athlete, you know the exact caffeine dose when you use such a sports supplement. Not unimportant, right?
A dose of 2 to 6 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight is required to obtain the desired effects on sports performance. The exact optimal dosage is different for everyone, partly due to our genes and how we experience the effects. In addition, the optimal dosage for frequent caffeine users is higher than for non-users. About 15 minutes after ingestion, the first effects are already observed, with an optimal peak between 30 and 60 minutes after ingestion.
Caffeine is available in various products, but not every form is equally suitable for athletes. Just think of side ingredients and an increased risk of stomach and intestinal complaints. In the case of athletes, it is recommended to choose caffeine sports supplements in the form of ampoules, gel, capsules, or chewing gum.
Despite the proven benefits to sports performance, caffeine supplements have not yet become routine in every sport. Guarana, a caffeine-containing herb from the Amazon, is now increasingly appearing as an alternative in the sports world. It has a similar chemical composition to caffeine. It makes it an ideal natural substitute and can be added to various products such as sports nutrition. Just think of our 3Action liquid Guarana ampoules specially developed for athletes to give that extra energy boost during a final or difficult climb.
In summary, caffeine and guarana are not a myth but reality. It can improve endurance performance as well as short maximal efforts. In addition, these sports supplements positively influence ball and team sports. The optimal dose differs per athlete due to various factors (genetics, habituation, sports situation, etc.), with the timing of the intake having a major influence on the effects of sports performance.
Michaline Lon, sports dietitian
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