There aren’t many side effects you can experience when taking caffeine-free pre-workout supplements. The worst that could happen to you is some mild nausea, and perhaps diarrhea. When it comes to caffeinated supplements, the picture is completely different.
Taking a caffeine-free supplement will spare you from some of the most obvious side effects of taking caffeine. The majority of mainstream pre-workouts contain anything up to 400 mg of caffeine. Most people who take these supplements will get an energy high, but this will be followed by a post-exercise crash. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulator. By inhibiting adenosine and dopamine, adrenaline levels are elevated. Adenosine promotes sleep and leads to the arousal of excitement. The consumption of caffeine suppresses adenosine, which leads to a sudden rush of energy, along with increased focus and performance.
The problem is that, as the caffeine starts to wear off, adenosine comes back and causes tiredness. This results in the infamous caffeine crash. Many people want to avoid the effect and so turn to caffeine-free products. Many people also find that taking caffeine in their pre-supplement formula experience an unnatural tingly sensation that they do not enjoy. This makes them feel unnaturally “wired” during their workout. It can also produce excess sweating and shaking of the extremities. Not surprisingly, many people also wish to also avoid these effects of having caffeine in their pre-workout. Taken over a prolonged period of time, caffeine-laden pre-workouts can also shut down the production of your adrenal glands. This leads to adrenal fatigue. Taking a caffeine-free pre-workout supplement, at least cycling to a stimulant-free pre-workout periodically – will prevent adrenal fatigue. When it comes to caffeine, it is a matter of weighing up the risk/benefit analysis. It is a proven fact that caffeine can assist your performance, but at what cost? Here are a dozen side effects of caffeine that you need to be aware of.
Caffeine is extremely acidic. Too much coffee will interfere with your pH balance. The more acidic your body, the more likely you will be to suffer from mood swings, and unnecessary food cravings. An acidic system will also make you more prone to stress, elevating your cortisol levels. Cortisol has been directly related to abdominal fat. Be especially aware of roasted coffee beans, which contain oils that will quickly become rancid and clog up the liver. This will make it doubly difficult for the liver to clear out toxins and burn fat.
Caffeine can be bad for your brain, your mood, and your psychological well-being. The main reason for this is that it disrupts your serotonin levels. Serotonin regulates your mood and regulates your sleep cycles and your appetite. Caffeine also blocks adenosine receptors in the brain. This prevents your body from receiving GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), which is a neurotransmitter that enhances calmness without sleepiness.
Coffee stresses the liver. Most other drugs are detoxified by both the kidney and the liver. Caffeine, however, relies entirely on the liver. This places way too much stress on the liver, interfering with its metabolic functioning.
Caffeine actually robs you of energy. Prior to popular belief, you do not get energy from coffee. What it actually gives you is a state of stress. This leads to adrenal fatigue. After the initial buzz, your energy levels will plummet and you will feel like death warmed up. You won’t feel like cooking, and you certainly won’t feel like exercising.
Coffee interferes with the quality of your sleep. Coffee can reduce the amount of time throughout the night that we enter Stage Four deep sleep. This is the part of sleep that makes you feel refreshed when you open your eyes. In order to achieve a more restful, peaceful deep sleep – and you know how vital that is for fat loss and detoxification – you simply have to take control of your caffeine consumption, especially in the evening.
Caffeine increases your blood sugar levels as well as your insulin levels. Both of these things are inflammatory for your body, and disastrous for fat loss.
Caffeine can rob your body vital minerals such as iron. It also diminishes B Vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium and other important minerals and nutrients.
Research out of Harvard Medical School indicates that caffeine may help to reduce the incidence of skin disease basal cell carcinoma. Caffeine consumption also increases the amount of calcium that is excreted in the urine. For this reason, heavy coffee drinkers (four or more cups per day) should eat extra rich calcium foods to compensate for this potential bone loss.
Caffeine will increase some of the normal stress responses as a result of the increased amount of adrenaline that is active in the body under stressful situations. So, caffeine users who find themselves under stress, or who use it during such stressful activities as working out, may experience more of the effects that stress can produce. Adrenaline release increases blood pressure during stress.
For some people, caffeine may contribute to the experience of panic attacks. These usually come on suddenly and involve powerful feelings of threat and fear. Caffeine is more likely to bring on panic attacks in people who have had them before. However, relatively high doses of caffeine (in excess of 700 mg) have been reported to lead to panic attacks in people who have never had them before.
Caffeine affects the heart in two ways. It acts on brain centers that regulate the cardiovascular system, and it acts directly on the heart. In people who are not tolerant to caffeine, a high dose (above 500 mg) can increase the heart rate by as much as ten to twenty beats per minute. In some people, this can result in brief periods of irregular heartbeat.
The well-known bathroom break that follows that morning coffee is probably caused both by a direct effect on the kidneys and by effects in the brain. There are adenosine receptors in the kidneys and caffeine acts on these, causing effects similar to those of diuretics, which increases urine production. Caffeine may also slow the release of an antidiuretic hormone from the brain that normally slows urine production.