So, that was really simplified, but it should provide some context for the rest of this post. The main reason why you feel so pumped up 40-60 minutes after a coffee is that, once consumed, caffeine has the ability to stop adenosine from binding with an adenosine receptor.
This is called adenosine antagonism. It feels like you've been given more energy, when in fact you've had your fatigue reduced. The majority of adenosine receptors are located in the brain and the brain is the main driver behind repeated muscle contractions, especially when under fatigue.
Beyond increased wakefulness and greater concentration, caffeine has been shown to reduce the rating of perceived exertion (RPE). This is widely used to gauge how hard an activity is or a particular body part is working. During repeated efforts of an activity the body struggles to reproduce the same level of central drive to stimulate a muscular contraction. Therefore, more effort is required by the brain to ensure that adequate muscle contractions follow.
Caffeine has been shown to assist with this due to an increase in spinal excitability and voluntary activation. It has also been hypothesised that the nerve feedback from the muscles to the brain indicate that contractions are less painful. This has been backed up by multiple studies that show the pain reducing affects of caffeine.
At Power Press, we preach that becoming excellent at something requires you to show up day after day (without making excuses) and practice your craft with as much purpose as possible. Now, if there was ever an argument for introducing caffeine to your training regime, this is it. Think back to the last time you finished work, feeling tired and fed up, but knew you had a training session to fit in. Do you think you performed your best? Maybe you did, but I doubt you would be able to every single time. Imagine if every day you went to training and you were just that little bit more awake, sharper and more purposeful. Understanding how caffeine works and recognising the small differences on a day to day basis can really build to something long-term.
So, does this mean that more coffee is always better? Well....not necessarily....but fear not, we'll explore how you can individualise your caffeine consumption in the next post.
If you can't wait until then, why don't you check out our range of artisan roasted and caffeine tested beans right here...