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This week is a topic that I’m very happy to be wrong about.

There’s been a long lasting thought that consuming caffeine on a regular basis will increase your tolerability – meaning you’ll need to consume more and more to get the same effect.

I thought this and have told many people this. But as a guy who loves a brew, I’m happy to be wrong. Therefore, I use to give painful to hear, nails on a chalkboard recommendations to decrease caffeine intake so that your pre-exercise/competition caffeine intake would be more effective.

What about now? What’s new? What’s changed? A recent paper by Gonçalves,et al (2017) tested 40 trained male cyclists and split them into three groups;

  1. Low Caffeine (~under 1 coffee daily)
  2. Moderate Caffeine (~2 coffee’s daily)
  3. High Caffeine (~4 coffee’s daily)

They then consumed a high dose caffeine supplement (6mg/kg/bw – equivalent to 4-5 coffee’s ), a placebo, or nothing at all before completing a 30 minute time trial test. They then repeated the three conditions to see if there was any significant difference in performance.

Annnnnddddd, there wasn’t. On a whole, the high caffeine group tested just as well as the low caffeine group – Suggesting that your regular caffeine intake doesn’t affect your performance. Winner! However, we need to take this with a small pinch of salt as there are many studies showing that this isn’t always the case – This is why we can’t give blanket statements all of the time.

Knowing this, I always get my competing clients to start with their minimal effective dose and start ramping it up on the weekly to find that pre-comp caffeine sweet spot. To be super responsible, trial this in training first in case you get all nauseous, irritable and anxious from taking too much – A big no, no for games.

Test don’t guess.

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