THE HOT TOPIC

LEWIS, PETERBOROUGH

Men's Health (UK) - - Contents -

Is a caf­feine habit re­ally so sin­ful? This is how to check whether your in­take is boil­ing over

Cool your boots, Lewis. As vices go, a taste for the bean isn’t quite up there with a crys­tal meth habit, so don’t be too quick to ditch your dou­ble espresso. In­stead, ex­am­ine why you might be us­ing caf­feine as a prop. If it’s the only thing keep­ing you alive af­ter re­peated nights of missed sleep, we’d ad­vise at­tend­ing to the source of the prob­lem (our fea­ture “How the World For­got to Sleep” on page 70 is a good place to start). But if, like many men who take their fit­ness se­ri­ously, you sim­ply en­joy the taste and use it in place of less salu­bri­ous vices, you prob­a­bly have noth­ing to worry about.

In fact, by cut­ting out caf­feine al­to­gether, you could be do­ing your work­outs a dis­ser­vice. “A pre-train­ing cof­fee is proven to im­prove strength, agility and even lower your per­ceived ef­fort,” says performance nu­tri­tion­ist Ben Coomber. “How­ever, drink­ing it all day can di­min­ish your caf­feine sen­si­tiv­ity over time, which negates its performance ben­e­fits.” It also keeps your body in a con­tin­u­ous state of “fight or flight”, de­plet­ing your adrenal glands. So, rather than steadily drain­ing a cafetière over the course of your nine to five, use it wisely and time your hit ahead of your HIIT.

The govern­ment rec­om­mends a daily caf­feine limit of 400mg – around four cups. For a pre-work­out stim­u­lant, Coomber ad­vises 100-400mg. Should you ex­ceed this, rein in the shakes with our anx­i­ety-curb­ing hacks ( right).

FIND YOUR LIM­ITS AND THE DAILY GRIND WON’T BE A MEN­TAL DRAIN

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