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Best Dose for Boosting Exercise Performance!

Caffeine is a stimulant that fitness-minded people know well— as a quick pre-workout that will give your training a buzz. Taken an hour before exercise, caffeine increases alertness, which can make exercise feel less strenuous and enables most athletes to perform better. It’s also a double-edged sword, as it’s often blamed for sleeplessness, anxiety and frequent trips to the bathroom. It turns out that those who have ridiculed caffeine or think it’s harmful have beans in their head. A new study shows that caffeine is safe even for pregnant women and young children, and it boosts physical and mental performance. When taken at the recommended daily amount of 400 milligrams— about four cups of coffee or eight cups of tea— caffeine has no lasting damage on the body.

A review of 44 trials, published in the journal Complete Nutrition and conducted by Dr. Carrie Ruxton, Ph.D., RD, a leading British dietitian who has advised the European Food Safety Authority, threw a monkey wrench into the mixed research that has warned consumers about the potential dangers of caffeine consumption. A separate review conducted by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) found that 400 milligrams of caffeine (the same amount found in one serving of AML Preworkout) is safe on a daily basis. Researchers at the ILSI examined over 740 studies about the effects of caffeine on humans to make the claim.

Ruxton, who was the driving force behind the myth-busting review in Complete Nutrition, described caffeine as “one of the most polarizing dietary substances around,” and argued that evidence proves the drug is safe— despite the “bad rap” it gets in the media. She told MailOnline: “Unfortunately, there is an enormous amount of myth and misinformation surrounding caffeine. The reality is that people who cut out tea and coffee may miss out on the potential health benefits of the compounds they contain.”

Ruxton’s review examined at least 15 different trials that documented the benefits caffeine has on the brain, including improving reaction times, accuracy in tests and alertness. Such studies also hinted that it influences the release of dopamine, which is thought to enhance mood and prevent the blues. Another 29 randomized, controlled trials that were assessed confirmed caffeine enhances sports performance. The researchers estimate that three out of four elite athletes use caffeine supplements to boost their performance.

The review published in Complete Nutrition supports another study recently published in The Journal of Applied Physiology that found acute caffeine supplementation can improve performance. Because there are concerns that caffeine users may become habituated to its effects— and one cup in the morning turns to three cups by the end of the day— athletes have typically been advised to stop drinking coffee or anything containing caffeine for about a week before competition. But Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, found that regardless of habitual caffeine intake in one’s diet, caffeine can enhance your training.

In Gualano’s study, competitive male cyclists consumed 400 milligrams of caffeine (the same amount found in one serving of AML Preworkout) one hour before a ride, which is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in four cups of coffee. The subjects also received a placebo before another ride. Almost all of the riders were able to pedal harder and faster after swallowing the caffeine pill— 3.3 percent faster on average compared to when they had no pill, and 2.2 percent faster than when they took a placebo. Cyclists who usually drank large amounts of coffee or caffeine drinks every day received the same boost from caffeine as light coffee drinkers. Gualano’s study refutes previous advice from some scientists and coaches that in order to gain any performance boost from taking caffeine before a workout, you have to abstain from coffee or caffeine for a few days or weeks.

You can get your caffeine fix of 400 milligrams per day (maximum) in four cups of coffee, eight cups of tea, five cans of the energy drink Red Bull or one serving of AML Preworkout!

Warnings: people with cardiovascular disorders, heart disease, hypertension or caffeine sensitivity should consult their physician before consuming any caffeinated products.