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Caffeine Hit: Maximise Your Training Intensity

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For a lot of people worldwide, one of the most important parts of the day is that cup of tea or coffee first thing to get them going. For others it could be an energy drink or even a pre-workout. Whatever the choice, they all have a stimulant in common; caffeine.

Caffeine is used frequently throughout the day to help people have the energy to get things done. Whether it’s used as a morning wake up, at work to keep you alert, as a pre-workout before exercise or in the afternoon to get you through the rest of the day; we’re all in agreement that people have a reliance on it. The truth is, that most people who regularly consume things with caffeine no longer seem to get the response from it that they want and simply just keep going through the motions and consume them regardless.

The science behind it is pretty simple. Caffeine stimulates neuron activity in the brain in which neurons send messages to the pituitary gland to stimulate the adrenal glands, which then produces adrenaline and cortisol. If your adrenal glands are fatigued, then caffeine can cause your adrenals to overwork to make more cortisol and burns out your glands. This leads to your adrenals being weakened and less able to respond adequately. This is why caffeine has less and less effect over time on people with adrenal fatigue.

One of the best ways to maximise your body’s reaction to caffeine is to first of all cleanse it from your system. This will give your adrenal glands time to recover and they will become more productive again when you have caffeine afterwards. A downside to this is since caffeine can become addictive, stopping usage can trigger withdrawal symptoms. The can include headaches, lethargy, nausea, and in some cases, although rare even vomiting and depressed mood.

Studies have demonstrated that people who take in a minimum of 100 mg of caffeine per day (about the amount in one cup of coffee) can acquire a physical dependence that would trigger the withdrawal symptoms, so most people would experience some of them in one form or another when undertaking a cleanse.

We would recommend a minimum of 1-2 weeks with zero caffeine. That means no caffeinated tea or coffee, caffeinated sodas, energy drinks or anything else that may contain it. If in doubt reading the label or a quick online search should let you know if something contains caffeine or not. If you do a cleanse and see the benefits then it would be even worth it to continue doing it for one week every month to keep your body responding positively to it and prevent dependence from it.

During your 1-2 week detox you can substitute your caffeine favourites with natural alternatives to provide you with an energy boost throughout the day that includes herbal teas, fruit and coconut water. If you can’t survive without your favourites then luckily there are lot of decaffeinated options available for tea, coffee, sodas etc but we’d recommend sticking to the natural alternatives as much as possible because it will be of more benefit to you during the detox.

If you’ve managed to survive your gruelling caffeine-free lifestyle for 1-2 weeks and are ready to re-introduce it then we insist on ONLY having it when you need it. And no, you don’t need it all day long! For instance, if you workout before work then a black coffee before your workout will give you a great energy boost that will keep you going for hours. The next time during the day you feel like you need another energy boost you can opt for one of the natural alternatives we recommended above.

The key factor to remember is that in order to keep your body operating at peak performance you need to treat caffeine as exactly what it’s meant to be; a stimulant. Use it when it’s needed but don’t have it just for the sake of it. For example, if you previously had at least 3 coffees a day then try and think when are the times during the day that you really needed them for energy and determine when was the most important time. If it was once in the morning to start your day and once in the evening before the gym, then replace the other one with a natural alternative. Ideally your goal would be to limit yourself to one caffeinated food or drink per day to minimise dependency and keep those adrenal glands operating at optimum performance.

Whatever your goals, if you take back control of your body you’ll reap the benefits in return!

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