Caffeine

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Caffeine (and Guarana)

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant and has been found to be used upwards of 80% in most countries (Fredholm, 2004). It is made up of four main elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen and is considered as being organic. It is commonly found in tea leaves, coffee plants, cola nuts, mate leaves, and guarana plants and is extracted as a white powder similar to corn starch and has a bitter taste (Carvalho, et al., 2012). Guarana is a less commonly found source of caffeine and surprisingly has four times the amount of caffeine per seed compared to a coffee bean.

What is the function of caffeine? (What does it do in the body?)
Its effects raise the physiological and nervous function within the body reducing fatigue, increasing alertness resulting in performance increases (Guedes, et al., 2012).

Reducing fatigue is the main benefit of caffeine. Adenosine is important as it plays a vital role within the Central Nervous System (CNS). As it binds to receptors within the brain and cause cascade reactions within the cell which hinders neurotransmitters, and suppresses arousal and spontaneous activity (Davis, et al., 2002). Muscular contraction, such as endurance exercise and resistance training are affected when this occurs.

Caffeine easily passes through the blood-brain barrier and with its similar structure as adenosine binds to the same sites on the cell mimicking its effects but instead does not produce this cascade reaction suspending the effects of fatigue (Davis, et al., 2002).

How is this important in performance?
In recent studies, caffeine has impacted sport performance by decreasing fatigue and increasing run time in runners up to 60% (Astorino, 2012), supported by an increase of 20-50% in cyclist and runners and reduces the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during exercise (Constill, DL., 1978).

The VOOM Pocket Rocket Beta Blast has 150mg caffeine per bar and the Caffeine Kick Delivers 175mg caffeine per bar #voominpowerout!  

REFERENCES
Astorino, T. W. A., 2012. Caffeine and Exercise. In: V. R. Preedy, ed. Caffeine [electronic resource] : chemistry, analysis, function and effects. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 314-336.

Carvalho, J. J., Emmerling, F. & Schneider, R. J., 2012. The chemistry of Caffeine. In: V. R. Preedy, ed. Caffeine [electronic resource] : chemistry, analysis, function and effects. Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 41-52.

Costill DL, Dalsky GP, and Fink WJ. Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports 10: 155–158, 1978.

Davis, J. Mark, Zuowei Zhao, Howard S. Stock, Kristen A. Mehl, James Buggy, and Gregory A. Hand. Central nervous system effects of caffeine and adenosine on fatigue. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 284: R399–R404,2003.FirstpublishedOctober24,2002;10.1152/ ajpregu.00386.200

Fredholm, Bb.  Caffeine as an Adenosine Receptor Antagonist. European Neuropsychopharmacology 14 (2004): S156-157. Web

Guedes, R. C. A., Lima De Aguiar, M. J. & Alves-de-Aguiar, C. R. R., 2012. Caffeine and Nutrition:. In: V. R. Preedy, ed. Caffeine [electronic resource] : chemistry, analysis, function and effects. Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 3-21.