Caffeine and sports – The stimulant effect

Caffeine is a stimulant found in many plants; Caffeine has the name because it was first isolated in 1821 from the fruit of the coffee. This plant is native to Ethiopia, now cultivated in many tropical countries. The beans are dark greyish color and unscented, but when roasted, get the color and aroma.

It is said that the effects of the substance were discovered by the Ethiopians, noting their animals after consuming the fruits of these plants became much more active; later proved that they also experienced increased activity when consumed. Today, coffee is a drug socially accepted; historical characters like Juan Sebastian Bach, who dedicated his coffee “Cantatta Coffee” have gone down in history as people addicted to coffee.

Caffeine belongs to the family of psychostimulants, playing its mechanism of action on the nervous system stimulation and chemical energy metabolism. Let’s try this a little more slowly.

Caffeine as a stimulant of CNS

Stimulants are substances that cause the person the feeling of being more awake and more energetic; This is caused by activation of the nervous system. Nerve cells in our body communicate with each other by transmitting electrical and chemical impulses; a nerve impulse is an electric current that is transmitted along the nerve fiber to finish in another nerve cell, a gland or muscle, but to pass from one to another, you should always save a little space, called the synaptic cleft which separates the presynaptic membrane of the postsynaptic membrane. The impulse reaches the presynaptic membrane, a substance which pours into the synaptic cleft (neurotransmitter) that transmits the impulse to the postsynaptic membrane, which causes the momentum to continue.

Specifically, psychostimulants cause nerve fibers increase the secretion of neurotransmitters adrenaline or other stimulants; This causes the body to make more use of the chemical energy possessed by chemical nerve activation, but not really provides additional energy. In parallel, activation of norepinephrine causes an effect of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activation (voluntary and involuntary nervous system or vegetative) quite high, so in addition to producing these substances increased use of energy reserves, produce the sensation of being, confidence and activity are conferred.

While caffeine, and other substances of this family, produces this effect, it is proven that it is more effective when it is contained in the coffee itself that when the substance is taken only as an active ingredient. Other substances that possess, such as tea, sometimes even taking similar concentrations are less disruptive and activate unless the person. Still, to say that the performance of a psychostimulant each person is totally different.


Because nervous system and muscles are the main focus when these substances are used, they may for a time enhance physical and mental performance. This has its pluses and minuses, because like adrenergic agonists, psychostimulants not only create dependency, but also adaptation; in short, can a person is taking 5 or more cups of coffee daily to maintain the effects.

On the other hand, these substances produce what is known as Withdrawal Syndrome, characterized initially by a drop in energy levels and mental activity, as a result of the sharp drop in levels of stimulation of neurotransmitters, which in many sometimes take a person to consume another dose that returns the activation status.

Sports Uses of Caffeine

As mentioned, the main function of psychostimulants is the stimulation of the nervous system, also carrying a greater mobilization of body energy reserves. Caffeine in particular, along with others of his family, has the ability to stimulate the movement of fatty acids for use as energy. Also promotes increased thermogenesis, or cellular internal heat production by burning of fatty acids. Another peculiarity is having appetite suppression, so that their use can be useful in periods when energy intake, for one reason or another, look abnormally diminished.

Properties on the use of fat have to be added to the formulated compounds to fat loss, in combination with other psychostimulants and precursors of fat metabolism (eg ACE). Likewise, we must always bear in mind the effects that the use of these substances can lead, as we have stated above. Also consider that these substances can mostly establish a drugs test positive. The use of these substances should always be controlled by a professional sports in cases where it was necessary or advisable.

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