Is Caffeine Good or Bad When Bodybuilding?
Do you drink a lot of caffeine? Coffee, coke, etc? If you are into bodybuilding, fitness or anti-aging, you need to reconsider what you are doing. You may have heard that caffeine “elevates stress hormones.” There are several references to studies which reveal that “caffeine in coffee elevates the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine. This elevation is present even hours after consumption. Chronic metabolic acidity associated with coffee consumption stimulates cortisol secretion, further activating the stress response, leading to a more rapid aging process.” Perhaps that’s why all those people who have been drinking coffee all their life look so old.
The issue here for fitness and bodybuilding is more than just aging. Did you catch it? Caffeine elevates cortisol levels to a high degree. Cortisol is the kryptonite for bodybuiliders. It is a muscle-wasting hormone and you don’t want it flowing around in your system. Unfortunately caffeine skyrockets your cortisol levels and this impairs your muscles. If you are a bodybuilder, you want to avoid caffeine – at all cost. And this means more than just your Starbucks coffee – it also means wherever else caffeine shows up, including various types of soda and anything else that has caffeine.
The cream in your coffee is something altogether different. Some bodybuilders and fitness buffs try to avoid all milk products, and that is a huge mistake. Cream in particular (milk with all the fat retained) is very good for your body. Cream, it turns out, contains conjugated linoleic acid, (CLA). Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid found in dairy fats (and beef). CLA is beneficial for the body – it is a fat that prevents the body from becoming fat. CLA has some other very interesting properties as well. Consider this study conducted by Dr. Michael Pariza in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as noted in the American Chemical Society (August 2000): Pariza’s research did not find weight loss in his group of 71 overweight people, but what he did find was that when the d ieters stopped d ieting, and gained back weight, those taking CLA “were more likely to gain muscle and not fat”. In a separate study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana, CLA was found to improve insulin levels in about two-thirds of diabetic patients, and moderately reduced the blood glucose level and triglyceride levels. That propensity to build muscle and shuck off fat makes CLA a very valuable dietary tool for those wishing to build up their muscles.
Vince Gironda was well aware of the benefits of cream and frequently recommended its intake. Vince himself was as trim as a nail, and just as hard.
The process of pushing muscularity often requires you to go counter-culture. Everyone is drinking coffee or pop, but avoiding cream. You need to do the exact opposite if you want to maximize your muscularity.