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    Blog — Caffeine

    The Benefits of Caffeine for Endurance Athletes

    The Benefits of Caffeine for Endurance Athletes

    Coffee is a great way to get a quick boost of energy, and an estimated 80% of people drink it daily. For an athlete, coffee and other sources of caffeine can help improve performance and prolong endurance. Though no amount of caffeine can compensate a poor diet, it can be a significant boost if you are already properly fueling yourself.

    The Benefits of Caffeine

    Drinking a cup of coffee before you exercise can help you work harder without even realizing it. For endurance athletes, your performance can be enhanced by 1-3% after just one cup. Though an athlete’s response to caffeine can vary, it has proven to be an excellent choice to give endurance cyclists or runners that necessary jolt of energy. There are potential side effects of caffeine, depending on how your system processes it, so listen to your body when drinking coffee or energy drinks.

    The Best Caffeine Sources for Athletes

    Since the caffeine in coffee and tea varies, many athletes opt for pills or supplements for the extra boost. For a 150-pound athlete, the recommended dose is 200 mg an hour before exercising. At Athleti.ca, we offer a variety of caffeinated supplements from brands such as Nuun, Cliff, and GU to help keep you going through the most rigorous of training exercises. Shop online today for all of your endurance nutrition in Quebec to properly fuel your routine.

    Eat to win: secrets of success

    What does it take to fuel your engine like a champion? If you’d like get the 'real deal' on nurturing success and live a day in an athlete’s shoes (and food pantry), read on… Here’s a sneak peak at some feeding rituals that allow fellow sport enthusiasts to savour the benefits of an athletic lifestyle and sound nutrition!




    • When asked about the must-haves in the fridge and lunch box, our panel of interviewees responded (in order of importance) : greek yogurt, oatmeal and bagels, bananas and dried mangoes, veggies and rice crackers with hummus and tofu dip, fish, peanut butter and maple syrup, caffeine (!), dark chocolate and fruit chews (!!). What are your favorite items at the grocery store?

    • In sharing advice with regards to eating/exercise, the group suggested: not being fearful of eating to give the body what it needs to excel, breaking down barriers and going beyond the limits we may set for ourselves (nothing is impossible…) and considering consulting a professional dietitian get tips to support training and everyday life. Are you optimizing your chances for success?


    • As for tracking down credible and user-friendly information on sports nutrition, this select sample of clients recommended: going straight to the source and finding a dietitian to team up with, websites (www.active.com, www.ironman.com), magazines (Triathlon Magazine Canada), amongst other sources. What are your favorites?
    • In order to give in to their guilty pleasures without giving up and keeping hunger under control, these gurus tend to: make sure not to skip meals nor snacks and keep to a tight routine, treat themselves only after events (as a reward!), have nutritious foods at arm’s reach, consume foods in moderation, maintain adequate hydration… Readers: do you have any tips to share?


    • Finally, with regards to sports supplements, the athletes gave 5 stars to the following products : bars (Clif, PowerBar and Kronobar were the favorites), protein powder (Vega came in first), chews (Clif and Power Bar were worthy of their attention), gels (Honey Stinger was the first choice) and brews (such as First Endurance EFS). Check out the wide selection of sports nutrition products on athleti.ca!

    Let yourself get carried away in the health-nut craze: it’s worth a taste! You’ll feel better and optimize your performance. Every bit and each bite matters, your body should be treated as a temple. Eating sensibly is contagious, spread the word!!! 

    *Special thanks to Bruno Langevin, Marc Bonds and Jimmy Gosselin for their insight, their time and trust as well as their inspiring stories.


    www.carolineallen.ca

    The Scoop on Caffeine

    There are many options to consider for your nutritional regimen when training and racing. One common question is whether or not to incorporate caffeine into your nutrition plan. You may get caffeine from your favorite brew, but you wonder if you should also have it in your nutritional supplements? Some products on athleti.ca are available with caffeine: for some athletes, caffeine is a must-have, but for others it’s not the best idea. Read on, to find out the facts and fiction on caffeine.

    The caffeinated buzz. 

    There is evidence that caffeine increases alertness, fights fatigue and improves physical endurance and strength. It stimulates bodily tissues and the brain. Caffeine can boost energy levels during a run, ride, hike or swim, and make you faster, meaner and stronger! Blood concentrations of caffeine peak 45 to 90 minutes after ingestion and it can take over 2 hours for levels to decrease. Miniaml dosages of 60 milligrams of caffeine per hour of exercise are required, and coffee-lovers probably need more than 200 milligrams an hour since the body gets used to its effects over time. If you choose caffeinated supplements, keep doing so througout a competition or event to avoid the caffeine slump…

    According to Health Canada, intake of less than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day causes no harm to health (nevertheless, the daily limit is set at 300 mg for pregnant and breast-feeding women). Although the International Olympic Committee allows for caffeine use, it maintains surveillance of its abuse in athletes. There is a downside to indulging in too much caffeine : daily intakes of more than 450 mg can cause nervousness, hypertension, irritability, anxiety, dehydration and disturbed sleep in athletes. Studies show that half of us have a genetic sensibility to caffeine (as predicted by our DNA), whereas the remaining 50% of individuals will remain insensitive to it and feel no difference. Keep in mind that individual tolerance will vary, so be careful to assess your reaction to it.

    Here, there, everywhere? 
    Food sources of caffeine are coffee (120 to 180 mg per 8-once cup in drip/filtered or percolated, 75 to 100 mg when instant and 90 mg for espresso), tea (30 to 50 mg a cup), cola-type soft drinks (35 to 80 mg in a 355 ml can) and chocolate (45 to 100 mg per 50 gram piece). Some natural products and beverages can hide caffeine under a mystery alias : guarana, kola nut or yerba mate. Caffeine content in supplements may vary, going from nil to 50 milligrams per serving (refer to the nutrition tables for each product). Note that most gels, chews and bars have very little caffeine (unless otherwise indicated), however some brews and electrolyte drinks will contain higher doses of this precious potion.

    As you can see, caffeine is not the make- or break-all in the athletic arena. The decision to opt for the caffeine kick or go without remains a question of personal preference, in your search for the gold! Train hard, eat right and consider a coffee break!!!