What Is It?
- Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant.
- It helps burn fat. The fat-mobilizing nature of caffeine not only augments your ability to burn fat, but it also improves your total aerobic capacity. During aerobic activities your body burns abundant stores of fat and a limited store of glycogen. Once the glycogen in the active muscles has been used up, performance is greatly reduced. By taking in caffeine, you can increase the level of free fatty acids in your blood, which creates a glycogen-sparing effect. Your body uses more fat as fuel, and the rate of glycogen depletion decreases, which delays fatigue and allows you to exercise longer.
- It allows for more intense workouts. Caffeine improves muscular function by facilitating muscle contraction. Before contraction can take place, calcium ions must be released inside your muscle cells. Caffeine increases the cells’ sensitivity and increases the availability of the calcium. Caffeine has also been shown to increase the contraction force of the diaphragm – enabling you to breathe with greater ease during exercise.
Lastly, caffeine affects the CNS (central nervous system) by masking the perception of fatigue – allowing for more strenuous workouts.