How Stimulants (caffeine, pre-workout, energy drink, etc) Can Take Your Training To The Next Level

Posted: Thursday, 10 May 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , , ,

After looking at the health risks of using stimulants let us consider how to use them appropriately. I believe it always preferable to understand the risks in order to avoid going overboard when you hear the possible benefits. In case you missed the last post here is the link 

Do not abuse?
As Kelly Baggett wisely said “Low grade stimulants like caffeine can give you an extra boost if used intermittently and judiciously.” When selecting the stimulant to use, there are a few considerations:

  • Select one that does not make you feel jittery 
  • Avoid ones that contain significant amounts of sugar
  • Consider additional benefits associated with the stimulant
  • Side effects of the stimulant 

What they do
Stimulants have the capability of increasing your stimulatory neurochemicals such as non-adrenaline, which can produce greater muscle recruitment and rate coding. I cannot emphasize this enough. All these stimulants will not be effective if you use it all the time (as most people do with their pre-workout supplements). For the stimulants to be truly effective, one needs to “cleanse” their system for several days. The general recommendation is to avoid any and all sources of stimulants for 3 to 4 days- this includes all disguised and common forms:

  • Guarana 
  • No explode
  • Red bull
  • Energy drinks
  • Coffee 
  • Tea
  • Pop

Why should I cleanse my body of caffeine?
With all stimulants, the more you use them the greater your tolerance.

Arousal level

With every sport and activity there is an optimal level of arousal.
Low arousal sports:

  • Golf
  • Curling

Medium arousal:

  • Quarter back for football
  • Soccer
  • Goalie for hockey 

High arousal:

  • Boxing
  • Weight training 
  • Running back 
  • Forward in rugby 

Understanding the arousal level of your sport and position is key. Taking stimulants and over exciting your self can have a detrimental effect on your performance. With the sport itself, it generally creates this level of arousal using stimulants commonly put an athlete over the top. Further, many people will become psychologically dependent upon them, if this occurs you run into the issue of having a big game and being unable to use them and your performance suffers greatly.

What is the deal with pre-workout supplements?
One of the most popular items in the supplement industry next to protein is the pre- workout supplements. As always, constant use equals adaption, dependence, and tolerance. When considering athletes, many of the pre-workout supplements contain banned substances in them (for list of approved supplements). These supplements are generally over priced! Since, they are generally just a combination of protein, carbs, and caffeine.

Stimulants and their ability to aid in fat burning:
Yes, stimulants have the ability to assist in fat burning. In fact, long distant runners often have caffeine prior to competition due to its ability to increase fat mobilisation which they need as an energy source. The stimulants will aid in recruiting a greater amount of fat for energy. This being said, proper nutrition and training should be put as priority before incorporating fat burners and other stimulants. If in need of help, I recommend (precision nutrition) or feel free to ask as many questions VIA the comment section below.

How much and when?
Please do not skip to this section, there is a lot of important information in the previous sections. In case you have skipped to here I will layout the key items:

  • Do not use stimulants regularly 
  • Avoid any form of stimulant for 3-4 days in order to get full benefits
  • Optimal arousal level is important 
  • Take stimulants 

Kelly Baggett recommends the following 200 mg of caffeine about 45 minutes to an hour before you really want to set a PR type performance. You can either take a caffeine pill (no-doz or generic caffeine), drink a big cup of strong coffee, take in a big mountain dew, or use one of the common "energy" drinks on the market like Red Bull or NO Explode. You'll definitely feel it. You can also add in natural stimulants like l-tyrosine (3000 mg is the common dosage) or acetyl-l-carnitine, (1500 mg) but honestly, with a good dose of caffeine on dormant receptors those things aren't gonna add much in the way of noticeable effects.

Personally I would recommend using green tea for added benefit beyond just the stimulation.

Note: Stimulants can cause dehydration... just a 2% reduction in hydration can have a dramatic effect on your performance.

If you are interested in Kelly Baggett please refer to the site here


  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm extremely pleased to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to look at new information on your blog.
    My web page ; Natural Pimple Remedies

  1. Thank you so much for the support. I am just happy that i could help.

  1. Similar is with nitric oxide. People supplement the free form of gas with the nitric oxide supplements available in the market. But which group of people needs nitric oxide?

    Food Supplements

  1. Yeah, many preworkout supplements are good for getting better stamina and strength. I also used my supplement before workout time and got very good results.

  1. Good post. Is Arnold Iron Pump a good pre-workout supplement?

  1. What an awesome article you have shared here! You know dear I have been thinking to take pre workout Green supplements and was just looking for reviews. After knowing so many benefits of these pills, I would definitely take them!

  1. pre post workout supplements- Staying healthy and fit has become a necessity these days. Living in a big city, one rarely has to undergo rigorous or hard labor in daily life work schedule. Since there is no physical exercise involved in our day to day jobs and only metal work, the body becomes flabby and so we feel non energetic.

  1. Wow is just the simple word that may explain that how much I liked it. It was nicely stuffed with the material I was looking for. It’s great to be here though by chance. Vega protein and greens

  1. what is the best pre-workout supplement or energy drink? That will be for you to decide, as the ones listed here are some of the best supplements for women who work out. best pre workout supplement for women

  1. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are looking to swap strategies with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested. Pre-workout

  1. Two summers ago, I worked with a great gal from Hollywood, Rachel Nichols.
    Rachel did some TT workouts while filming a movie up here in Toronto.

    That's about it for me in terms of training Hollywood actors or
    actresses in person, but recently I was asked, "Imagine you're
    working with a major film star who has eight weeks to lose 30
    pounds of fat and build some muscle in preparation for the lead
    role in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. What do you do with them?"

    Here's my answer...

    I would have control over every single thing that they eat. That's
    the biggest ticket to success here. No booze, no excess sugar, and
    just giving them enough reward to stick with the program.

    If this "star" is a typical overweight, sedentary individual, we'll have
    no problem getting rid of 20 pounds of fat through nutrition.

    As for exercise, we need to be consistent, and stick with our intensity
    principles. We would do 3 hard workouts per week using strength
    training followed by interval training with the program being centered
    around basic movement patterns done with free weights.

    Everything is done in supersets in the workout to get more done in
    less time. For example, we might do a squat supersetted with a
    pressing exercise. I also like to pair free weight exercises and
    bodyweight exercises in supersets, for example, a dumbbell split
    squat paired with a decline pushup.

    We'll do 3 superset pairs, each for 1-3 sets, and stick to 8
    repetitions per set. Then we'll finish the workout with 6 hard
    intervals of 30-60 seconds (with 60-120 seconds rest between each).
    This way, we are in and out of the gym in 45 minutes.

    On "off days", we'd still get at least 30 minutes, if not 60
    minutes, of low-intensity exercise. But it wouldn't just be slow
    cardio. Instead, we'd focus on low-intensity bodyweight training.
    For example, if the actor can do a maximum of 25 bodyweight squats,
    15 pushups, and 5 chinups, we would use easier versions of those
    exercises in circuits.

    Here's a sample 6 exercise bodyweight circuit that we'd do at least
    3 times, doing 10 reps per exercise.

    Wall Squat
    Kneeling Pushup
    Beginner Inverted Bodyweight Row
    Stability Ball Leg Curl
    Mountain Climber

    After that, we might cross train with a variety of cardio exercises
    to avoid overuse injuries that occur when you repeatedly do the
    same activity and nothing else.

    So that's pretty much it. If he (or she) sticks to their nutrition,
    we're as good as gold and the actor will be ready just in time.

    Click here to start losing fat with Turbulence Training: ===> Drop 30 Pounds in 8 Weeks? <=====

    Screw New Years, get started now,

    Craig Ballantyne, CTT
    Certified Turbulence Trainer
    Author, Turbulence Training

    PS - Turbulence Training Beats Cardio for Fat Burning Effectiveness.

    "Craig's workouts were fun and challenging - I didn't dread going to the
    gym and I wasn't overly sore after our sessions. Much like my trainer in
    LA, Craig's workouts were always different: the exercises, the supersets,
    the weights...the combination of elements always varied and, therefore,
    I never got bored or felt like I was in a workout rut. And my co-stars
    couldn't believe how great my arms looked, thanks to Craig helping me
    do my first chin-up. Thanks Craig!"
    Rachel Nichols, actress

    Click here to get Turbulence Training: ===> Fast fat loss workouts... <=====

    "I have been in love with Turbulence Training ever since I started.
    I am 6'3", 28/M and my starting weight/body fat% was 208 pounds and
    18.4% body fat. After 22 weeks of TT, I am now down to 190 lbs and
    10.8% body fat."
    Nick Walters, New York, NY