The Downside of Caffeine

The Downside of CaffeineDespite coffee/caffeine’s positive effects on psychological states and performance, there are numerous documented risks that must considered when consuming caffeine, whether for performance-enhancing effects or simply as a part of daily dietary consumption.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and can produce restlessness, headaches, and irritability. Caffeine also elevates your heart rate and blood pressure. Over the long-term as your body gets used to caffeine, it requires higher amounts to get the same effects. Certainly, having your body in a state of hormonal emergency all day long isn’t very healthy.

Caffeine is also a diuretic and causes a loss of fluid, which then leads to a dehydrating effect. This is obviously not conducive to fitness activities such as resistance training, as fluid is needed for the transfer of nutrients to facilitate muscular growth. It is also important when considering the further loss of fluid while exercising in hot environments.

Perhaps the most important long-term problem is the effect of caffeine on sleep. The half-life of caffeine in the body is about 6 hours. If you drink a big cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine at 4PM, at 10PM you still have about 100mg in your body. By 4AM, you still have 50mg floating in your system. Even though you may be able to sleep, you may not be able to obtain the restful benefits of deep sleep. What’s worse, the cycle continues as you may use more and more caffeine in hopes of counteracting this deficit.

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Another Effect of Coffee for Your Exercise Training

The Effect of Coffee for ExerciseA study that had been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology compared the effect of coffee and caffeine on run time to exhaustion. A group of men took part in trials where sixty minutes before each run, they consume one of the following:

A placebo

Caffeine capsules

Decaffeinated coffee with caffeine added

Regular coffee

Performance times were up to 10 times longer in subjects using the caffeine capsules, with no differences in times among the other trials. Since the level of caffeine absorption was similar during the caffeine trials, researchers concluded something in the coffee itself that interferes with caffeine’s performance-enhancing effects. This makes sense considering that there are literally hundreds of compounds dissolved when coffee beans are roasted, ground and extracted. Results of this research suggest that if benefits of caffeine on endurance times are desired, caffeine capsules work better than coffee.

Caffeine and creatine supplement

Although caffeine has been shown to increase endurance time, further research shows it may actually blunt the effect of creatine, a popular and well-researched compound known for its consistent ergogenic effects. In a study evaluating the effect of pre-exercise caffeine ingestion on both creatine stores and high-intensity exercise performance, caffeine totally counteracted any effects of creatine supplementation. It was suggested that individuals who creatine load should refrain from caffeine-containing foods and beverages if positive effects are desired.

Conclusions

Though caffeine has some benefits in relation to exercise performance, risks have been documented. Most problems seem evident with very high consumption. The American Heart Association says that moderate coffee drinking (one or two cups per day) does not seem to be harmful for most people. As with everything else, moderation is the key to healthy caffeine consumption. Further research is needed to clearly determine whether the performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine outweigh the potential risks.

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The Effect of Coffee for Your Exercise Program

Coffee and ExerciseThe main ingredient in coffee that gives us that jolt is caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine is found naturally in coffee beans, tea leaves, and chocolate, and is a popular added ingredient in carbonated beverages and some over-the-counter medications such as cold remedies, diuretics, aspirin, and weight control aids. It is estimated that in the U.S., 75% of caffeine intake comes from coffee.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter that normally causes a calming effect in the body. The resulting neural stimulation due to this blockage causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, the “fight or flight” hormone.

Your heart rate increases, your pupils dilate, your muscles tighten up, and glucose is released into your blood stream for extra energy. Caffeine also increases dopamine. Dopamine activates the pleasure in parts of the brain. It has been suspected that this also contributes to caffeine addiction.

Physiologically, caffeine makes us you feel alert, pumps adrenaline to give you energy and changes dopamine production to make you feel good.

Performance

In addition to various psychological and physiological benefits, numerous studies have documented caffeine’s ergogenic effect on athletic performance, particularly in regard to endurance.

Studies show that caffeine ingestion prior to exercising extended endurance in moderately strenuous sports or aerobic activity. Other studies researching caffeine consumption on elite distance runners and distance swimmers show increased performance times following caffeine consumption.

Despite effects on endurance, caffeine produced no effect on maximal muscular force in a study measuring voluntary and electrically stimulated muscle actions. However, the same study did show findings that suggest caffeine has an ergogenic effect on muscle during repetitive, low frequency stimulation.

Caffeine’s positive performance-enhancing effects have been well documented. So much so that the International Olympic Committee placed a ban leading to disqualification for an athlete with urinary limits exceeding 12 mg/mL. Roughly 600 to 800mg of caffeine, or 4 to 7 cups of coffee, consumed over a 30-minute period would be enough to exceed this level and cause disqualification. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has a similar limit, set at 15 mg/mL.

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Barista

BaristaThese days the word barista is become more common, especially for people who are in the food business, coffee particularly. Barista is the Italian word for the skilled person who prepares coffee (ultimately espresso) in a coffee house.

What would you want your barista to be like? This is not a trick question. The more I think of it, the more I believe it, that the world of coffee making must be lying on the shoulders of a barista.

I believe that because the coffee I am being served in a coffee house, I expect it to be good. On the other hand, the manager of the bar expects me to be pleased with the service and come again. If the coffee is not good, I will not do that.

Now who is responsible for this small gearing to work? You probably have guessed it, the barista.

Are you wondering what a barista is and how can you recognize them?

1. Well, they do not have a specific age or appearance. Nor nationality. In Italy, the country that gave the name of the job, a barista is most likely a man around the age of 40. In America, there are more chances that you find a young lady. But not necessarily.

2. One sure thing is they’re susceptible to be found behind the bar-counter, always ready to prepare several varieties of coffee ‘expressly for you’ – by the way, did you know this was the initial definition of the espresso coffee?

3. A skilled barista, the one you would like to have prepared your cup, has several years of experience.

4. A good barista carries out to near-perfection four operations: dosing, tamping, pulling and steaming.

5. A good barista knows that no. 4 is not enough and sometimes helpless. For example, tamping depends on the finesse of the grind. The finer the grind, the less important the tamping.

6. A really good barista pays attention both to the quality of the coffee and the presentation.

7. The skilled barista is capable of performing more operations at the same time.

8. The barista you like interacts with his or her customers.

9. A good barista can manage to make a pretty good cup with less sophisticated appliances. Mean less to say, the opposite is not true.

10. A good barista can make a flourishing business out of your modest old coffee-shop. Again, the opposite in not true.

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Specialty Gourmet Coffee

Gourmet CoffeeSpecialty gourmet coffee is a very popular for the coffee connoisseur. The consumption of gourmet coffee has steadily grown with consumers enjoying the more sophisticated tastes of gourmet coffee beans. Specialty gourmet coffee, sometimes is also called as premium coffee. This exceptional coffee beans is grown only in ideal coffee-producing climates. These coffee beans have unique characteristics because of the soil they grow in which produce very distinctive flavors.

Gourmet coffee has a more balanced flavor and richer taste than the standard mass-produced coffee. Gourmet coffee beans go through a rigorous process of certification that is stricter to help keep the quality high.

The term of ‘specialty coffee’ is use to describe these unique coffee beans that are produced in special micro climates with these distinctive, exceptional flavors. In 1982 the Specialty Coffee Association of America was created by coffee professionals to help set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade.

Since the 1990′s the growing popularity of the coffee houses and specialty gourmet coffee retailers, have made gourmet coffee one of the fastest growing food services markets in the world. In the United States alone, it nets more than $5 billion a year.

Some have compared specialty gourmet coffee to wine. The aromas and flavors have similarities in how the consumer connects with the two beverages. The characteristics of gourmet coffee however, are more even complex than wine. The coffee bean is more dependent on altitudes, climate and soil variation than with the grapes used for wine.

The history and tradition of the specialty coffee grower makes this a very complex beverage. So pour yourself a cup of your favorite specialty gourmet coffee, sit back and enjoy, you deserve it.

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