by Tony Gjokaj February 24, 2020 4 min read
Caffeine… we can’t live without it. About 85% of the US population consumes it, and for good reason: it fights fatigue, and handles our sleep-deprived selves pretty well before work.
In the Fitness Industry, it is emphasized more than ever before with pre-workouts and fat burners. Not to mention the Energy Drinks, where over 300mg of Caffeine is a regular thing.
The challenge with this is the over-reliance on stimulants to provide us energy. This can have a negative effect on us after the stimulant diminishes, or even through overconsumption. In fact, there was research done on caffeine-related deaths in 2018, and the FDA has jumped at caffeine powders for that reason.
I can tell you from experience: I have overdosed on caffeine and it’s not pretty!
With that being said, this blog post is dedicated to caffeine lovers.
As always, discuss with your physician or doctor before consuming supplements or stimulants. What may be common for some might have negative effects on others. Please be aware!
Now, let’s dive in!
Caffeine is a stimulant used to fight fatigue, enhance focus, and manage mood. It can be found in many products we consume: Tea, Coffee, Sodas, Chocolate, and more.
In medical cases, caffeine has been used to treat things a variety of things: for example, breathing problems in infants. It has also been shown to improve the effects of some OTC drugs like Aspirin.
Now when it comes to athletes, caffeine consumption is used to increase performance and endurance. Aerobic and anaerobic activities can be improved slightly when athletes consume caffeine an hour before training.
When it comes to caffeine, moderation has always been the decision-maker between benefits and consequences. Consuming a little extra can lead to negative effects like being too wired, increased anxiety, and more.
The key to effective caffeine consumption is dosage and timing.
There is not really a direct guideline on caffeine consumption.
However, based on studies*, around 1.85mg/lb (3mg/kg) of body weight is a good guideline to keep you energized and focused for the day. Caffeine may have more negative effects past that, so it’s not recommended to go any further beyond that.
As a simpler guideline, 400mg of caffeine should be the limit for an average person daily.
Timing is really important when it comes to caffeine.
I would recommend consuming it in the morning, or 4-8 hours before bed. Although caffeine diminishes, the effects last for hours.
Don’t be that person who drinks Starbucks at 8pm and wonders why they can’t get sleep. ;)
Caffeine is great to supplement with, but sleep deprivation is difficult and will ALWAYS affect your performance in life AND the gym. Always consume your caffeine WAY before bed.
“The dose makes the poison.” This means that caffeine consumption in the right amounts is beneficial, but any more can come with negative effects.
As I mentioned in the previous section: the dose makes the poison. Being aware of this, we can discuss common issues with overconsumption of caffeine.
While caffeine DOES affect heart rate and blood pressure, it is not harmful in small amounts. Avoid overconsumption so that you may not deal with heart issues, especially through elevated cardiovascular exercise.
People tend to overreact on the mild diuretic effects of caffeine. It makes you use the bathroom, but it doesn’t dehydrate you in small consumption.
Although not really talked about, caffeine overdoses exist and should be made aware of.
While working at my old job years ago, I consumed over a gram of caffeine (1000mg) in a span of a few hours. The following happened:
I was lucky in that instance... others have not been, as reported by the FDA.
Remember that caffeine should be limited AT MOST to 400mg. Anything past that typically results in more detrimental effects.
So what if you're a caffeine-head and you desire more energy?
Our solution is supplementing with nootropics. Most nootropics synergistically work together with caffeine to provide a variety of benefits, like enhanced focus and concentration.
For example, if you supplement caffeine with an amino acid, like L-Theanine, you can help mitigate the negative stimulatory effects of caffeine.
Remember:the dose makes the poison. Do not consume tons of caffeine thinking you can consume L-Theanine to "balance" it out. There are depreciating returns with L-Theanine and Caffeine!
There it is: Caffeine!
On the plus side, caffeine consumed in the right amounts can actually improve your health. Too much of it will harm it.
Balance is key.
Awareness of ingredients and supplements is something that we always preach.
A lot of supplements include caffeine, and taking a combination of fat burners and pre-workouts together might be a bad time for you.
Reading this, my hope is that the knowledge of caffeine and its depreciating returns can help you make better decisions with your lifestyle.
Based on our research and our passion for wellness, caffeine, and all things nootropics... we have made it our duty to continue crafting beverages that will help our Reforged Legion perform their best.
And we look forward to help you augment your lifestyle for the better.
Thanks for reading everyone! If you have any questions or insights, please email me at email@example.com... or direct message me on Instagram.
Until next time, Reforged Legion!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read
When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.
It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).
In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?
Is there something wrong with us?
Absolutely not. This happens with depression.
The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.
I've been there.
But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.
In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.
by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read
Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.
When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.
I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.
This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.
In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read
When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.
I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.
Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.
Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.
So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.
So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.
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