Friday, August 5, 2011

Don’t Overdo Caffeine To Gain Weight


How to gain weight in the form of quality is a delicate game, especially for the naturally skinny individual that finds it difficult to build muscle mass. Well, caffeine has many benefits and positive factors that help any bodybuilder, weight lifter, or fitness enthusiast… which many others and myself have written extensively about. But, as is the case with most things in life, too much of a good thing can actually be bad. Hey, ibuprofen is excellent for getting rid of massive headaches, but too much of it will kill you. Same goes with caffeine; just the right amount will enhance your weight gain efforts, but could keep you looking like Woody Allen.
See, caffeine is awesome for getting you mentally and physically “psyched up” for the upcoming muscle building workout. It helps raise the metabolism, calorie and fat burning, increases the strength of muscular contractions, makes you more “alert”, helps buffer fatigue, so on and so forth. However, the downside to it is that caffeine accomplishes all of this because it raises your body’s catecholamines, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. When these chemicals are raised, the body begins to release glucose (aka sugar) into the blood, raises your heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. All of this is the very popular “fight or flight” reaction of the body. Well, this entire process is catabolic, meaning it will lean more towards eating away muscle tissue, as opposed to preserving, or much less, growing.
So, how do you find the happy medium? How do you obtain the muscle weight gain benefits, without the withering away aspects?
First off, don’t drink or ingest any form of caffeine on a daily basis, whether it be in the form of coffee (mmm, my favorite), tea, sodas, energy drinks, etc. Not only does your body become numb to any of its excellent benefits if you never take a break from it, but it will also mean that you may be putting your body into a catabolic (muscle wasting) mode as opposed to an anabolic (muscle weight gain) mode.
Second, only drink caffeine (or take in pill form, such as in Vivarin or No Doze) for up to 2 months straight. To which, then, you should stay away from all things caffeinated for at least a month, if not a month and a half to two months. That way you keep your body from getting numb to it.
Third, only take up to 400 mgs per day on the days you do. I can’t really say how many cups of coffee that would be, or how many cans of soda, since every beverage has a different amount, depending on the size and strength. Just be aware that anything above the 400 mgs mark will place you in risky territory, as any more than this could mean you placing your body into a catabolic state.
Again, when gaining weight is a huge challenge, you must make sure you aren’t overdoing a good thing that could slow down your muscle building goals.

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