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And you may have heard that caffeine can improve your athletic performance.
But you may not know if it’s true or not.
Well, in this newsletter, I want to share with you some facts about caffeine, testosterone, and exercise.
I think you’ll find these very useful.
In this study, researchers gave men caffeine in various doses in a capsule.
They used low dose caffeine pills, higher doses, and several in between.
But some of the men received a placebo — meaning they got sugar and they didn’t know it.
They acted as the control group so that the researchers could measure the difference.
Then they had these men do intensive exercise.
The men were English rugby players, and you know how vigorously rugby players exercise.
Rugby players exercise and train as much as American football players in the NFL.
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Researchers found that for highly conditioned athletes, testosterone begins to increase during exercise.
The exercise has to last for a while — testosterone begins to increase after 45 minutes.
But what boosts testosterone usually also raises cortisol.
And the stress hormone also increases modestly with exercise.
The body secretes cortisol to handle any stress you have, whether it’s emotional, or physical — like exercise.
For the men who received 800 mg of caffeine, their testosterone began climbing much sooner.
It began climbing very quickly after they took the caffeine capsule.
Their testosterone rose within 15 minutes instead of within 45 minutes.
And their testosterone levels were much higher and much more prolonged.
Caffeine increased the exercise-induced testosterone response to resistance exercise in a dose-dependent manner. Caffeine ingestion also increased the cortisol response to resistance exercise, and, at the highest caffeine dose, cortisol continued to increase postexercise.
The bad news is that their cortisol levels were also much higher and much prolonged.
However, they didn’t see the same equal reaction in lower doses of caffeine.
Doses around 200 mg or 400 mg had the same testosterone raising effect.
But it didn’t have the equally huge increase in cortisol.
What this tells us is that if you condition exercise, coffee can help you do better.
And it helps raise your testosterone.
But if you have too much coffee, you end up with too much cortisol.
This high cortisol level creates something called a catabolic point — where you lose muscle mass.
High cortisol levels will digest and dissolve your muscle protein instead of building it up.
So, with exercise, high caffeine increases testosterone but can burn good muscle away.
But with the moderate amounts of caffeine in coffee, you can increase testosterone while also continue building muscle.
So if you exercise heavily, here’s what you might want to do.
You could take low dose caffeine pills for working out.
Or just a cup of coffee or two before your exercise may help you raise your testosterone levels.
And it will help you perform better.
But don’t drink too much coffee or use energy drinks or you could end up with too much caffeine.
And too much caffeine hurts your performance and makes it harder to build muscle.