Pre-workouts for energy are common for many athletes. The typical pre-workout ingredients contain beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine, essential amino acids, etc. Caffeine provides several beneficial physiological effects that can boost performance. Many have suggested that natural pre-workouts with natural caffeine result in more cortisol than synthetic caffeine, but no evidence supports this. Both natural and synthetic caffeine raise cortisol
SUMMARY OF PRE WORKOUT WITH CAFFEINE STUDY
In general, they found that pre workout with caffeine reduced sleep time by 45 minutes, increased sleep latency (amount of time it takes for you to go from being fully awake to sleeping) by 9 minutes, and increased wake after sleep onset (wakefulness that occurs after a person has initially fallen asleep) by 12 minutes.
They ran a model simulation of the typical pre-workout with 220 mg of caffeine and estimated that if you wanted to take a pre-workout without affected sleep, you would need to take it 13 hours before bed.
The study recommends caution with caffeine consumption, particularly in the evening or close to bedtime, to improve sleep quality.
CAFFEINE: THE DRUG WE ALL NEED
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed drug in the world; the average dose of caffeine is 200 mg is the standard dose for Americans, but some countries consume much more. A study conducted in Saudi Arabia found that 20% of the sampled students consume more than the recommended amount of 400 mg of caffeine daily. (Alfaifi et al., 2022) Caffeine boosts energy by stimulating the nervous system, enhancing alertness, and temporarily warding off drowsiness.
CAFFEINE CAN CHANGE YOUR BRAIN STRUCTURE!
A recent study found that caffeine changes your brain structure. Subjects took caffeine pills for 10 days and then stopped with no caffeine for 10 days. When taking caffeine, the researchers reduced gray matter (i.e., the area of the brain connected to memory). However, after 10 days of caffeine abstinence, the volume of gray matter was regenerated to a level greater when the subjects started the study. This does not mean that caffeine consumption harms the brain. The brain changes are temporary. The study suggests that daily caffeine consumption rewires our brains. (Lin et al., 2021)
PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS WITH CAFFEINE AND ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Pre-workouts for energy are common for many athletes. The typical pre-workout ingredients contain beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine, essential amino acids, etc. Caffeine provides several beneficial physiological effects that can boost performance. Many have suggested that natural pre-workouts with natural caffeine result in more cortisol than synthetic caffeine, but no evidence supports this. Both natural and synthetic caffeine raise cortisol (Chen et al., 2022)
Pre-workouts with caffeine increase the availability of free fatty acids (burns fat) in the bloodstream, spare glycogen stores, delays the onset of fatigue, and enhance overall performance. (Graham, 2001)
Pre-workout formulas with caffeine are extremely beneficial for power athletes and bodybuilders engaging in high-intensity activities, such as weightlifting or sprinting. Research suggests that caffeine can also improve muscle strength and power output by directly acting on muscle fibers by increasing calcium release and promoting more forceful contractions. (Tallis et al., 2018)
Most studies suggest that a 3-6 mg/kg body weight dose, taken 30-60 minutes before exercise, effectively improves performance. (Grgic et al., 2018) Higher dosages (. 9 mg/kg) don’t increase performance. (Goldstein et al., 2010) You can use a dose calculator to see your weight converted to kg.
Although the stimulating effects of caffeine seem to dwindle after long-term consumption, athletes still have performance-enhancing effects despite not feeling the effects of caffeine. (Carvalho et al., 2022) As great as caffeine is, it’s not without side effects. All athletes have had that time when we take too much caffeine and can’t sleep at night.
THE PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE AND SLEEP
To better comprehend the relationship between caffeine and sleep, examining how caffeine affects sleep stages and the recovery process is crucial. Studies have found that consuming caffeine before sleep increases sleep onset time, reduces total sleep time, and poorer sleep quality. (Treur et al., 2017)
The amount of caffeine consumed is also a significant factor in its effect on sleep, with higher doses having a greater negative impact on sleep quality. (Treur et al., 2017) However, tolerance to the effects of caffeine on sleep efficiency may develop after four days of caffeine consumption, and there is considerable interindividual variability in the effects of caffeine on sleep. (Mathew et al., 2022)
Caffeine stays in your system for a long time from first consumption. Caffeine has a half-life of six hours, meaning half the dose of caffeine is eliminated six hours after consumption. (Marzo, 2011) This means that caffeine to be eliminated from first consumption is roughly 12 hours. A 2013 study found that 400 mg of caffeine given immediately before, three, and six hours before bed all affected sleep quality.
The author suggested that caffeine should be abstained a minimum of six hours before bed. (Drake et al., 2013) Researchers wanted to know when to stop caffeine intake from getting a good night’s sleep without caffeine sleep disruption.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STOP CAFFEINE BEFORE BED FOR RESTFUL SLEEP
Researchers conducted many studies related to caffeine consumption and sleep disruption. Caffeine increases the amount of light sleep and reduces deep sleep stages.
In general, they found that caffeine reduced sleep time by 45 minutes, increased sleep latency (amount of time it takes for you to go from being fully awake to sleeping) by 9 minutes, and increased wake after sleep onset (wakefulness that occurs after a person has initially fallen asleep) by 12 minutes.
They ran a model simulation of the typical pre-workout with 220 mg of caffeine and estimated that if you wanted to take a pre-workout without affected sleep, you would need to take it 13 hours before bed. In layman’s terms, you would need to take a pre-workout at 850 am to get a good night’s sleep at 10 pm. (Gardiner et al., 2023)
The study recommends caution with caffeine consumption, particularly in the evening or close to bedtime, to improve sleep quality. This suggests that if you move your workouts to the morning and take a high-caffeine pre-workout, you will probably get better sleep. Also, if you work out in the evening, consider a pre-workout without caffeine.
The existing literature on caffeine and sleep demonstrates a complex relationship that is not yet fully understood. The literature suggests that caffeine negatively affects sleep quality, and the timing and amount of caffeine consumption play significant roles in its effect on sleep. Further research is needed to explore how caffeine influences sleep stages, recovery, and sleep disorders.
Natural sleep remedies such as lavender essential oil have been suggested to enhance sleep. (Chen et al., 2022) Sleep supplements, such as tart cherry juice, valerian root, and melatonin supplements, can also be beneficial for treating insomnia.
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Carvalho, A., Marticorena, F. M., Grecco, B. H., Barreto, G., & Saunders, B. (2022). Can I Have My Coffee and Drink It? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis to Determine Whether Habitual Caffeine Consumption Affects the Ergogenic Effect of Caffeine. Sports Med, 52(9), 2209-2220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-022-01685-0
Chen, T.-Y., Hiyama, A., Muramatsu, M., & Hinotsu, A. (2022). The Effect of Lavender on Sleep Quality in Individuals Without Insomnia: A Systematic Review. Holistic Nursing Practice, 36(4), 223-231. https://doi.org/10.1097/hnp.0000000000000528
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Graham, T. E. (2001). Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance and performance. Sports Med, 31(11), 785-807. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200131110-00002
Grgic, J., Trexler, E. T., Lazinica, B., & Pedisic, Z. (2018). Effects of caffeine intake on muscle strength and power: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 15, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0216-0
Lin, Y. S., Weibel, J., Landolt, H. P., Santini, F., Meyer, M., Brunmair, J., Meier-Menches, S. M., Gerner, C., Borgwardt, S., Cajochen, C., & Reichert, C. (2021). Daily Caffeine Intake Induces Concentration-Dependent Medial Temporal Plasticity in Humans: A Multimodal Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Cereb Cortex, 31(6), 3096-3106. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab005
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Mathew, G. M., Reichenberger, D. A., Master, L., Buxton, O. M., Chang, A.-M., & Hale, L. (2022). Too Jittery to Sleep? Temporal Associations of Actigraphic Sleep and Caffeine in Adolescents. Nutrients, 14(1), 31. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/1/31
Tallis, J., Higgins, M. F., Cox, V. M., Duncan, M. J., & James, R. S. (2018). An exercise-induced improvement in isolated skeletal muscle contractility does not affect the performance-enhancing benefit of 70 µmol l−1 caffeine treatment. Journal of Experimental Biology, 221(21). https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.190132
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