Pre-Workout Caffeine to Get Stronger, Faster, Bigger and More Powerful

A new study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research indicates that the immediate ingestion of caffeine (6 mg·kg−1 body weight) prior to resistance training:

  1. Reduces the level of muscle fatigue and,
  2. Preserves leg power throughout the training session,
  3. With zero increase in muscle damage

Which is awesome if you are interested in getting stronger, faster, bigger and/or more powerful.

In the study, six male handball athletes ingested placebo (PLA) or caffeine (CAF) (6 mg·kg−1 body mass) capsules on 2 different occasions. Sixty minutes after ingestion of the capsules, serum CAF levels were evaluated.

Thereafter, all participants performed a protocol of vertical jumps (VJs). The protocol consisted of 4 sets of 30 seconds of continuous VJs with 60 seconds of recovery between sets.

Blood lactate (LAC) and creatine kinase (CK) levels were determined before and after the protocol.

We found significant differences in serum CAF levels between PLA (0.09 ± 0.18 µg·ml−1) vs. CAF (6.59 ± 4.44 µg·ml−1) (p < 0.001).

Caffeine elicited a 5.23% (p≤ 0.05) improvement in the leg power compared with PLA. The CAF trial displayed higher LAC (p ≤ 0.05) compared with PLA (6.26 ± 2.01 vs. 4.39 ± 2.42 mmol·L−1, respectively) after protocol of VJs, whereas no difference in CK was observed between trials (p > 0.05).

These results indicate that immediate ingestion of CAF (6 mg·kg−1 body weight) can reduce the level of muscle fatigue and preserve leg power during the test, possibly resulting in increase in LAC. There was no increase in muscle damage, which indicates that immediate administration of (6 mg·kg−1 body weight) CAF is safe. Thus, nutritional interventions with CAF could help athletes withstand a greater physiological overload during high-intensity training sessions.

The results of this study would be applicable to sports and activities that require repetitive leg power.

What does this mean to you?

  • To properly follow the protocol used in the study, you need to ingest 6mg of caffeine per 1kg of body weight ( 2.72mg per 1lb of bodyweight)
  • There is approximately 100mg of caffeine in 1 cup of coffee
  • Which means that a 150lb trainee would need to drink 408mg or 4 cups of coffee before training….probably not the best idea if you don’t want to spend your workout in the bathroom.
  • The same caffeine-math applies to tea, Red Bull, 5 Hour Extra Strength Energy Shot (the strongest energy drink with 242mg of caffeine), etc..

As a result, you are going to need to purchase some caffeine pills if you want to take advantage of this caffeinated training boost.

And of course, not everyone’s GI tract is going to do well with all that caffeine.

BUT…if your gut is okay with a big dose of caffeine AND you’re looking to break through a training plateau, supplementing with caffeine immediately pre-workout could be exactly what you’re looking for.

ronnie coleman squat

NOTE: If you try this caffeine protocol, I would love to hear how it works for you. Feel free to contact me on Twitter or Facebook.


Green Coffee Bean Extract for Weight Loss

The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar giant with hundreds of companies telling thousands of half-truths to separate you and your money.

Which supplements should you buy?

In an attempt to look past some of the supplement companies B.S., I employed the power of big data (via Google Trends) to identify the top 10 weight loss supplements….as decided by the millions of people who use Google to research weight loss supplements.

  • No marketing B.S.
  • No fraudulent claims from supplement companies
  • No advertorials masquerading as honest information

Just pure data collected by the giant brains at Google.

Supplement #9

Green coffee bean extract is made from coffee beans that have not yet been roasted.

Research shows that the roasting process of coffee beans reduces the amount of the chemical chlorogenic acid found in the bean’s natural “green” state. Therefore, green coffee beans have a higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to regular, roasted coffee beans.

It is the chlorogenic acid in green coffee which is thought to have health benefits for weight loss. 

In addition to these health benefits, there is some research indicating that green coffee bean extract may be helpful for:

How does Green Coffee Bean Extract promote weight loss?

The research is still in the early stages, but the commonly held belief is that green coffee bean extract promotes weight loss via the prevention of calories from carbohydrates being absorbed in the intestines.

In essence, green coffee bean extract is thought to work as a carb blocker...forcing the body to ignore carbs and allow them to leave the body as waste.

Green Coffee Bean Research

Want to learn more about green coffee bean extract & weight loss? Check out the science….

Where can I buy Green Coffee Bean Extract supplements?

Here are the best online sources for Green Coffee Bean Extract:

Note: If you make a purchase from one of these online retailers, I receive a 6-10% “finders fee” …almost enough to pay for this site. Thanks in advance 🙂

Like this article?

The info in this article came from my Special Report – The Top Weight Loss Supplements for 2016.  

The full report is available to @HealthHabits subscribers, so if you want to see numbers 8 – 1, subscribe now by clicking on the button below. Number 10 is available here.

button subscribe

Green Coffee Bean Extract & Weight Loss

A couple of months ago Dr. Oz read one of my articles about Raspberry Ketones and decided that RK supplements were a pretty cool way to melt off excess body fat.

Not wanting to keep this info to himself, he decided to do a segment about RK on his daytime tv show. And the day after that…. the supplement world went absolutely crazy with requests for RK pills.

I wonder what’s going to happen when he finds out about the next big natural fat burning supplement – Green Coffee Bean Extract.

The Science behind GCB and Weight Loss

There have been a number of studies over the years which showed that GCB extract had a positive effect on human fat loss.

This latest study is a little different in that it is the first to investigate how different dosages of GCB extract impact the effectiveness of fat loss.

Here’s what the researchers did….

Subjects received high-dose GCB (1050 mg), low-dose GCA (700 mg), or placebo in separate six-week treatment periods followed by two-week washout periods to reduce any influence of preceding treatment. Treatments were counterbalanced between subjects. Primary measurements were body weight, body mass index, and percent body fat. Heart rate and blood pressure were also measured.

The Results?

  • At the end of the study, 16 of 16  lost fat.
  • The subjects lost an average of 10% of their weight
  • There were no adverse side effects
  • 16 of 16 completed the study

  • When participants were on the high dose of GCB extract, the weight came off quickly
  • When participants were on the low dose of GCB extract, the weight came off more gradually
  • When participants were on the placebo, weight loss stopped

How do these results compare to pharmaceutical fat burners?

  • 30-40% of test subjects dropped out of studies testing sibutramine, orlistat or rimonabant
  • Compared with placebo, orlistat reduced weight by 2.9%
  • Compared with placebo, sibutramine reduced weight by 4.3%
  • Compared with placebo, rimonabant reduced weight by 4.1%
  • GCB extract produces results far superior to big pharma fat burners
  • GCB has no adverse side effects
  • GCB extract is waaaaaayyyyy cheaper than a prescription fat burner

Caffeine Makes You Crave Soda

Why do soda manufacturers add caffeine to their products?

  • According to the industry, it’s a flavor enhancer.
  • According to researchers at SUNY,  it’s because caffeine makes you crave their product, buy their product and drink their product.

And that sounds a little shady, doesn’t it?

The Science

Researchers hypothesized that “adolescents who repeatedly consume a new and unfamiliar drink that contains caffeine would like that beverage more over time, but that adolescents who drank an unfamiliar beverage without caffeine would show no change in their preference.”

To test that hypothesis, adolescents aged 12-17 visited the SUNY laboratory multiple times.

    • During each visit, they sampled an unfamiliar soda drink and rated their liking or preference for that beverage.
    • The sodas contained varying amounts of caffeine, and the caffeinated or non-caffeinated versions were varied across participants.


  • Over repeated testing days, participants increased their liking of the soda with the highest levels of caffeine, whereas there was no change in preference for sodas with low or no caffeine.


Your craving for a Diet Coke has little to do with the taste….it’s the caffeine.



Does Fat Make You Fat? – The Starbucks Edition

Caramel Macchiato
Caramel Macchiato : Freshly steamed milk with vanilla-flavored syrup, marked with espresso and finished with caramel sauce.

While waiting in line at Starbucks for my morning injection of caffeine, I overheard the woman ahead of me in line order a tall non-fat caramel macchiatio with a rice crispie square.

Nothing out of the ordinary…pretty typical Starbucks order.

But it got me thinking…why did she order it “non-fat”?

  • Did she prefer steamed non-fat milk over steamed 2% or steamed whole milk?
  • Or, was she trying to cut back on fat and/or calories?

So I asked.

Her answer: It was the fat.

It was the 40 extra calories from fat that she would get if she ordered a tall 2% fat caramel macchiatio.

That’s when I started banging my head against the wall.

Why do people think that 40 calories of milk fat in their coffee is going to make them fat, but the caramel sauce and the rice crispie square won’t?

Her combined order:  non-fat Caramel Macchiato + Rice Crispie square contains:

  • 350 claories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 61 grams carb (34 g added sugar)
  • 10 grams protein

If she opts for the 2% milk:

  • 390 claories
  • 11 grams fat
  • 61 grams carb (34 g added sugar)
  • 10 grams protein

And where my new Starbuck’s friend sees 4 extra grams of milk fat, I see 61 grams of carbs – including 34 grams of added sugar.

And that’s why this is a crappy breakfast.

It’s not the 4 extra grams of fat and their 40 calories.

It’s the 61 grams of carbs and the 34 grams of added sugar that:

  1. drives up her blood sugar
  2. drives up her insulin production
  3. increases her appetite
  4. increases her cravings for carbs
  5. leads to insulin resistance
  6. which leads to type 2 diabetes
  7. and obesity and metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis and….


4 grams of milk fat in your tall non-fat caramel macchiato isn’t going to make or break your diet.

But 61 grams of carbs just might.



Starbucks Trenta is a Breakthrough in Human Obesity

Starting May 3, Starbucks is finally getting serious about their commitment to America’s obesity epidemic.

After realizing that their 700 calorie Venti Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha wasn’t enough to push their customers into a higher obesity bracket, Starbucks executives committed an unprecedented amount of time and money into an attempt to create an even larger receptacle for their iced beverages.

And luckily for America’s gastric bypass surgeons, all of that time and money has paid off….with the creation of the new Starbucks Trenta.

  • The Trenta weighs in at a staggering 31 ounces
  • Is unfortunately being made available only for iced coffee, iced tea and iced tea lemonade drinks
  • Is 7 ounces or 29% larger than the current size champeen – the Venti (24 oz cold / 20 oz hot beverages)
  • Raises the calorie count of the Iced peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from 700 up to 904

Virtually ensuring that Starbucks will finally be able to challenge McDonalds for the title of Biggest Culinary Contribution to Worldwide Obesity.


And just in case you can’t properly imagine what 31 ounces of iced coffee looks like, the fine folks over at the National Post have prepared the following infographic.

The Trenta is just slightly larger than the size of the average adult human stomach.


But have no fear….after 3 or 4 Trentas, your stomach will stretch out to accomodate the increased volume.

Yay again.


NoteSome of you may find it a tad ironic that while writing this post, I have been sitting in a Starbucks drinking a mug of Starbucks coffee (Verona to be exact). To be clear, I love Starbucks coffee. I love the baristas at my local Starbucks (Bloor & Bathurst). I just wish they would stick to making coffee and leave the belly-busting dessert drinks to McDonalds and Dairy Queen.


Caffeine Gum Supercharges Your Workout

Want to get more out of your workouts?

Caffeine Gum may be the answer.

According to this study, chewing caffeinated gum during an interval sprint workout (4 sets of 5 sprints x 30 seconds per sprint) resulted in….

  • a 5.4% improvement in performance (mean power output),
  • increased testosterone production,
  • reduced cortisol production
  • and reduced levels of fatigue


Over the past few months, I have been cutting back on my consumption of coffee/caffeine as I found that my desire for coffee was morphing from a want into a need…..and I have no intention of becoming any more addicted to Starbucks than I already am.

However, for days when I want to perform at my best, chewing on some caffeinated gum seems to be a pretty harmless way to boost performance by 5%.

And 5% is more than enough to separate 1st place from 2nd place.


Nutrition Myth Busted: Caffeine and Dehydration

For years & years, we have been told that caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, etc) are diuretics and that they dehydrate us and that they do not count towards those magic 8 glasses of water we are all supposed to drink each and every day.

And for years & years, I thought this was a colossal line of B.S.

And I was right.

According to this study & that study, there is no valid scientific support for the suggestion that consumption of caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle leads to fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested or is associated with poor hydration status.

Therefore, there would appear to be no clear basis for refraining from caffeine containing drinks in situations where fluid balance might be compromised.

So, the next time someone tells you that you shouldn’t drink coffee because it will dry you up like a California Raisin, send them over to Health Habits for a little book learnin’.

And once again, like those guys on the Discovery Channel, I declare this nutrition myth…BUSTED


Related Posts

Does Coffee Make You Fat?


I just finished reading Why Diet and Exercise Fail…and I am ticked off.

starbucks IV addictTicked off because author Daniel Matthew Korn is making me re-think my morning cup of Gold Coast.

Korn believes that long term caffeine consumption, when combined with a typical Western Diet, is akin to throwing gas on your obesity bonfire.

Or, as Daniel says, “long term caffeine use, in combination with other dietary factors can contribute to lowering our ability to use our stored body-fat and interfere with our storage of nutrients”.

Why would coffee lead to obesity?

Theory #1

  • Long term caffeine use can lead to elevated stress hormones (ie Cortisol)
  • And heightened cortisol levels is associated with obesity

Theory #2

  • Chronically elevated cortisol levels results in increased feelings of hunger
  • And obviously hunger leads to eating and drinking more coffee and eating more food and…

Theory #3

  • Chronic caffeine use may interfere with your sleep patterns
  • And sleep deprivation is associated with obesity

Korn’s Conclusion

Chronic caffeine use contributes to obesity because:

  • it increases your level of stress hormones
  • which messes with your brain chemistry
  • and increases your hunger
  • causing you to eat more crappy processed foods
  • while you lay in bed tossing and turning because you can’t sleep

My Conclusion

As Korn mentions, there is very little research into the direct effect caffeine has on metabolism and obesity.

This leaves his theory open to attack.

I can hear the comments already – Association and/or Correlation is not Causation.

And they are right. Korn is making some assumptions.

And good for him. Out of these assumptions, researchers can design studies to test if caffeine has a direct effect upon obesity.

Until then, you can:

  1. Ignore his caffeine/obesity theory as unproven
  2. Or, test the theory on yourself. Sadly, that is the route I am taking…starting tomorrow.

Note: I will be reviewing the rest of Why Diet and Exercise Fail in an upcoming post.


If you like what you see here, click here for updates


Related Posts

Exercise Better with Coffee

For decades, endurance athletes have relied on caffeine as a performance aid. They claimed that a pre-workout cup of coffee helped them to push themselves harder and for longer periods of time.

And along the way, science has backed up that belief:

  • In 1979, scientists found that caffeine helped cyclists improve their performance by 7% during a 2 hour workout.
  • In 1991, cyclists dosed with 9mg of caffeine per kg of bodyweight were able to increase their endurance by 51%
  • In 1995, cyclists performing high intensity circuits were able to improve their endurance by 29% with a dose of 5.5mg of caffeine per kg of body mass.

Pretty good, right? The only problem is that no one really knew why caffeine improved athletic performance…until now.

Researcher (and cycling geek) Dr. Robert Motl has spent the last 7 years considering the relationship between physical activity and caffeine. Today, he has a much better understanding of why that cuppa Joe he used to consume before distance training and competing enhanced his cycling ability.

  • Early in his research, he became aware that “caffeine works on the adenosine neuromodulatory system in the brain and spinal cord, and this system is heavily involved in nociception and pain processing.”
  • Since Motl knew caffeine blocks adenosine from working, he speculated that it could reduce pain.
  • A number of studies by Dr. Motl support that conclusion, including investigations considering such variables as exercise intensity, dose of caffeine, anxiety sensitivity and gender.

The good doctors latest study “looks at the effects of caffeine on muscle pain during high-intensity exercise as a function of habitual caffeine use,” he said. “No one has examined that before”.

And what did they find?

  • Caffeine reduces pain during exercise.
  • Less pain means you can work harder.
  • Less pain means you can work longer.

The Science

The study’s 25 participants were fit, college-aged males divided into two distinct groups:

  1. Subjects whose everyday caffeine consumption was extremely low to non-existent,
  2. And those with an average caffeine intake of about 400 milligrams a day, the equivalent of three to four cups of coffee.

After testing their baseline aerobic fitness, Dr. Motl tortured his subjects with two monitored high-intensity, 30-minute exercise sessions.

  • An hour prior to each session, cyclists – who had been instructed not to consume caffeine during the prior 24-hour period – were given a pill.
  • On one occasion, it contained a dose of caffeine measuring 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (equivalent to two to three cups of coffee); the other time, they received a placebo.
  • During both exercise periods, subjects’ perceptions of quadriceps muscle pain was recorded at regular intervals, along with data on oxygen consumption, heart rate and work rate.

The Results

Obviously the most important result was that caffeine reduced the pain of intense physical activity. But Dr. Motl also found that when it came to the reduction of pain, “caffeine tolerance doesn’t matter”. Caffeine-junkies and the herbal tea drinkers received the same pain reducing benefit from their little caffeine pill.

So, what now?

Dr. Motl wants to see what effect caffeine’s pain-reducing abilities has on sport performance.

“We’ve shown that caffeine reduces pain reliably, consistently during cycling, across different intensities, across different people, different characteristics. But does that reduction in pain translate into an improvement in sport performance?”

Interesting question for sure, but I am way to impatient to wait for science to catch up to real life. If you’re like me, check out this list of caffeine based beverages and let’s get physical.


Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

mmmmm Coffee

A new scientific study says drinking coffee is good for you.


Another new scientific study says drinking coffee is bad for you.

What the @&%*#%! is going on here?

Study # 1

According to Australian researchers,drinking lots of coffee after a strenuous workout while consuming fuel-replenishing carbohydrates can help accelerate muscular recovery.”

In fact, the research showed that athletes who consumed carbohydrates and drank caffeine had 66 per cent more glycogen in their muscles four hours after working out, versus athletes who consumed carbohydrates alone.

This is important because to get the most from your workouts, you need to re-fuel your muscles as soon as possible. A proper re-fuel will cause your body to shift from it’s post-workout catabolic state to an anabolic state toot sweet.

Simply put, you will recover faster, feel less post exercise pain (still debatable, but anecdotal evidence leads me to believe this to be true), get stronger, faster, have more endurance and lose fat faster.

All good stuff.

So take a shot of espresso with your post workout protein shake.

Okay, this is weird. As I was writing this post, I was also surfing and came upon this – Starbucks new Vivanno Nourishing Blends. I haven’t had one, but this is exactly what the Aussie researchers are describing. Carbs, protein & caffeine.

I am sure that there are lots of other coffee houses that have or will soon be offering such a beverage. (Vivanno is being released this week)

So, if you want to see science in action, head down to Starbucks post workout. And no, I don’t have any financial interest in Starbucks. I just spend a lot of money there.

For a great info on workout nutrition, check out Dr. John Berardi.

Study #2

Researchers from the University of Guelph have concluded that drinking coffee before eating your morning cereal can affect the body’s blood-sugar response and cause blood glucose levels to rise dramatically (250% higher)- especially when eating low-sugar cereals like All-Bran“.

Once again, what the @&%*#%! is going on here?

I eat my All-Bran twigs and berries cereal so that I don’t get colon cancer and now these science geeks are telling me that unless I cut out my morning cup o’ joe, my blood sugar is going to jump sky-high, followed by my insulin levels.

Great, the next thing you’re going to tell me is that this is going to make me insulin resistant and eventually type 2 diabetic.

Well, research does show that “whether you’re a healthy individual, obese or a Type 2 diabetic, when you ingest caffeine and then follow that with some food that’s carbohydrate-based, for a prolonged period of time — certainly six hours at least — your body becomes insulin resistant.”

“It’s the caffeine in the coffee that is altering your body’s sugar response,” Prof. Graham (the lead researcher) says. “It makes us resistant to insulin, which in turn makes our blood-sugar levels go higher.”

So what am I supposed to do now?

According to Prof. Graham, for healthy people, the implication is “no big deal.” “If my glucose goes a bit higher and I’m over it in a couple of hours, I’m happy and I’ve had my coffee.” In fact, recent research shows “very clearly” that heavy coffee drinking decreases the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee contains many positive biological compounds, including antioxidants, and decreases the risk for diseases of the gut.

“In the long term, consuming coffee for decades decreases your risk,” Prof. Graham says.

Not so for those individuals who are obese, sedentary and don’t exercise. It’s likely that those people are already insulin resistant.

So, what should you do?

If you are not at risk, enjoy your java. However, if you fit the ‘at risk’ profile, try switching to water distilled decaf coffee.” Or, eat your cereal before your coffee. Or, dump the cereal altogether and switch to a Mediterranean or Paleo way of eating.


These two studies seem to contradict themselves.

Not really.

In study # 1, the researchers are trying to increase levels of blood sugar and insulin. This effect literally drives the sugar into your muscles. Your muscles have been depleted by your workout (At least they should be; if not, workout harder) and they are virtually screaming to be fed. The sugar will go straight to your muscles where it will go about fueling your muscles re-building process.

In study # 2, you have no need for a giant spike in blood sugar and insulin. You just woke up and your body is not screaming for fuel.

But don’t think I am telling you to skip breakfast. Like my mom always said, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” (weird – I quoted my mom)

You have a long day ahead of you, so a nice steady stream of low glycemic carbs is the way to go. No sugar spikes you Coca-Cola junkies.

So, in conclusion, you want to keep you blood sugar in check all day long, except for post workout.

Got it?

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe