Benefits of Caffeine in Enhancing Energy & Focus Levels

Benefits of Caffeine in Enhancing Energy & Focus Levels

The Benefits of Caffeine in Your Day

Caffeine is the single most widely used stimulant in the world, and in the US, between coffee, tea and soda, around 80% of people consume it daily. Its rise in popularity to the second-most consumed drink after water is hardly surprising given today's rapid-moving, high-pressure, non-stop world, but actually, it has been so popular for so long that it played a role in the very development of the modern society.

Before coffee, a daily pick-me-up was so important that many people would actually drink beer at breakfast in order to get themselves going. Such was the success of coffee that it is credited with replacing these uses of alcohol and thereby bringing widespread sobriety to society, not to mention the concomitant increase in people's productivity.

Today we derive caffeine from over sixty plants in various forms, and have abundant research on its effects on us. We know it can be a healthy addition to a diet when used wisely, and there is no questioning the benefits it has to energy levels, focus, mood, and stamina.

How does caffeine work to boost energy?

Caffeine crosses the blood-brain barrier easily due to its lipid solubility and works in great part by blocking adenosine receptors, interrupting the chemical which normally tells the brain it is tired and sleepy. The resulting boost to the central nervous system, increase in blood pressure, heart rate, energy levels, and muscle response is similar in effect to an amphetamine.  It exhibits positive inotropic and chronotropic effects on the cardiovascular system, and locomotor activity stimulation and anxiogenic-like effects on the central nervous system.

Caffeine triggers the pituitary glands to produce a hormone responsible for adrenaline production. The resulting change in brain and body chemistry results in an increase in alertness (fight-or-flight response), arousal, concentration, mood, muscle response, athletic ability (by about 3% according to research,) and a decrease in reaction and response time.  A great deal of scientific study has been done on caffeine and the news is positive.

What do we know about caffeine's beneficial effects?

As we said, there has been a LOT of research done of caffeine -- more than just about any other substance we consume. Fortunately it's all good news. Caffeine can be very healthy, depending on its form and use. The following are a few cherry-picked selections of studies to give an overview.

A study at McMaster University showed that caffeine increases the amount of calcium released in the muscles, allowing participants to work out harder for longer. Its benefits to performance, endurance, and strength for athletes is well recognized thanks to dozens of controlled experiments (although it clearly exerts a more ergogenic effect when in anhydrous state than as plain coffee or tea.) The previously quoted increase of 3% on athletic performance may not sound like a lot but when the difference between competitors or achievements is measured in tiny fractions, this can be significant, especially when enhanced by other synergizing elements.

According to an article in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, caffeine has significant cognitive-enhancing abilities, improving focus and performance. A trial at the University of Buffalo showed that children who were given caffeine performed better in memory and reaction-time tests than the placebo group. A recent internet study showed it gave a cognitive boost to brain function and heightened concentration and attention. Although the pharma's don't want you to know this, caffeine shows virtually the same results in stimulant-therapy for attention disorders as the commonly-prescribed synthetic drugs.

Caffeine's benefits to mood are believed to come because caffeine inhibits adenosine neurotransmitters, which means other neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin will increase in concentration and the result is a boost in happiness. A study from Harvard University showed a link between caffeine consumption and lowered levels of depression in women.

Studies at Johns Hopkins found that caffeine both improves short-term memory, and has positive effects on long-term memory. In an article in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists reported that it enhanced memory recall for 24 hours after consumed, and seemed to reduce forgetfulness for beyond that time.

Although much of this needs further research, additional benefits reported in studies include some protection against type-2 diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's (inhibiting the growth of a protein that clogs brain cells in Alzheimer's patients,) liver disease and even some forms of cancer. Researchers in France and Germany recently reported that older people are less likely to suffer cognitive decline if they take regular, moderate amounts of caffeine. 

Caffeine is pretty much all good news.

Despite rigorous research, there is no causal link between caffeine-consumption and any diseases. In fact, a health study done at the National Institute of Health found that those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a 10% lower risk of death than those who did not.

We saved the best benefit for last. Caffeine is highly synergistic, which means it interacts with some other compounds to produce an effect that is enhanced. There is a lot of research in this area. Studies on caffeine and amino acids like theanine and tyrosine show significant synergy, as does calcium, and the vitamins B. Caffeine and synephrine compounds like bitter orange are thermogenically effective when combined, as is piperine (black pepper,) ginseng, and even other caffeine compounds can interact to increase effect. By combining it with the right ingredients at the right amounts, you can create some very beneficial results.

But it does matter how you use it!

What we have discovered is that with proper consumption, caffeine can have many positive benefits in our daily lives, and that 240mg is the general daily dose for an average-sized adult to derive optimal benefits. Some forms of caffeine are clearly better than others. When you consider the dairy, sugar, sugar substitutes, colorings, etc., that add unnecessary, unhealthy elements and calories, you are best off avoiding drinks, shots, bars, and foods. Given you have to consume quite a few cups of coffee a day to get the benefits, and given that anhydrous is a clearly more effective form, it makes sense to find a premium-quality caffeine-based supplement balanced with the right synergistic ingredients at the right doses. That's the ideal way to access the full beneficial effects of caffeine for energy, vitality, focus, and mood.

Finally, just for perspective on the sheer quantity of caffeine study, here is page one of our caffeine research reference section (that has five more pages):

Caffeine's effects on performance and mood are independent of age and gender - Nutr. Neurosci., 1

Enhancement of 2000m rowing performance after caffeine ingestion - Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 32

Metabolic, catecholamine, and enduranced responses to caffeine during intense exercise - J. Appl. Physiol., 81

Effects of caffeine on performance and mood - Psychopharmacology, 182

Caffeine improves reaction time, vigilance and logical reasoning during extended periods with restricted opportunities for sleep - Psychopharmacology, 232

Effect of caffeinated drinks on substrate metabolism, caffeine excretion, and performance - J. Appl. Physiol., 85

Pharmacological and psychological effects of caffeine ingestion in 40-km cycling performance - Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 40

Effects of caffeine ingestion on utilization of muscle glycogen and lipid during leg ergometer cycling - Int. J. Sports Med., 1

Ergogenic effects of low doses of caffeine on cycling performance - Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab., 18

Effect of caffeine on reactive agility time when fresh and fatigued - Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 43

Effects of caffeine ingestion on body fluid balance and thermoregulation during exercise - Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 68

Caffeine for the prevention of injuries and errors in shift workers - Cochrane Database Syst. Rev., 5

Caffeine as a psychomotor stimulant: mechanism of action - Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 61

Effects of caffeine ingestion on exercise testing: a meta-analysis - Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab., 14

Effect of caffeine ingestion on torque and muscle activity during resistance exercise in men - Muscle Nerve, 50

Caffeine consumption amongst British athletes following changes to the 2004 WADA prohibited list - Int. J. Sports Med., 29

The effects of different doses of caffeine on endurance cycling time trial performance - J. Sports Sci., 30

The effect of a caffeinated energy drink on various psychological measures during submaximal cycling - Physiol. Behav., 116

Thermoregulatory effects of caffeine ingestion during submaximal exercise in men - Aviat. Space Environ. Med., 69

Effects of caffeine and cyclizine alone and in combination on human performance, subjective effects and EEG activity - Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol., 7

Effects of moderate exercise on the pharmacokinetics of caffeine - Eur. J. Clin. Pharmacol., 40

The effects of caffeine on graded exercise performance in caffeine naive versus habituated subjects - Eur. J. Appl. Physiol., 62

Caffeinated tube food effect on pilot performance during a 9-hour, simulated nighttime U-2 mission - Aviat. Space Environ. Med., 77

Caffeine withdrawal and high-intensity endurance cycling performance - J. Sports Sci., 29

Caffeine effects on short-term performance during prolonged exercise in the heat - Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 40

Physiological and cognitive responses to caffeine during repeated, high-intensity exercise - Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab., 16

Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance - Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 10

Effect of different protocols of caffeine intake on metabolism and endurance performance - J. Appl. Physiol., 93

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. 4 Organics takes no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider.


    • Avatar
      Jenna Kipson
      Jan 25, 2022

      I love my coffee, so this was happy news.

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