ELi5: Caffeine

Caffeine can be used to improve your fitness level. It can also be abused which can halt progress.

Caffeine is called an “ergogenic aid”, which is a fancy way of saying that it helps athletic performance. It does this by signaling your brain that “YOU’RE NOT TIRED AT ALL LETS GET GOING BABY GIRL! BY THE WAY YOU LOOK GREAT IN YOUR LULU PANTS.”

This is very helpful 30-60 minutes before exercise, especially cardio. Caffeine will increase your pain tolerance, and has been shown in studies to allow subjects to run farther, faster.

The problem with this is that caffeine can also prevent deep sleep, which is important for recovery from your workouts, energy level, and long term memory storage.

Caffeine takes roughly 20 hours to get out of your system…if you’re 18.

If you’re 50, it can take much longer. So if you get Starbucks every day, you never really get all the caffeine out of your system, which can result in:

  • Loss of motivation
  • Always being tired
  • An erection lasting longer than 6 hours
  • High caffeine tolerance
  • Using alcohol or drugs to sleep

Think of caffeine as a brick that gets jammed under your brake pedal in your car. Even if you really need to stop the car, you cant.

The best fix for this is a caffeine detox. You can do this by going cold turkey for 10-14 days. Or you can slowly decrease the amount of coffee/redbull you drink, and increase the amount of green/black tea.

Eventually you will need to get off for 2 weeks to let your system reset. The first 3 days make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, because you’ll probably get headaches.

Once you get your caffeine addiction under control, here are the three rules you need to follow in order to get the most out of it, as shown by science and experience.

  1. Wait an hour after waking up to drink coffee
  2. Take at least 2 days off per week.
  3. Don’t use caffeine after 2pm.

Side Note: If your coffee order includes the words “pump” “caramel” or “vanilla-chai”, you’re doing it wrong and everyone thinks you’re stupid.

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