Caffeine and hypertrophy

Update: For some personal reasons, this article has a special place in my heart. The main takeaway is that while caffeine is awesome, limit your intake to the morning period only. Caffeine has a half-life in the human bloodstream of 8 hours, so it can take a long time for it to filter out of your system. A good night’s sleep is important for strength and muscle gains.

Caffeine is the most widely-used stimulant on the face of the earth. It’s incredibly useful for improving our work output, stamina, and for many of us, getting us out of bed in the morning! It’s also great as a pre-training stimulant to boost our nervous system, and it can help to enhance the body’s metabolic rate to enhance fat loss.

Coffee and muscle growthI can get through quite a lot of coffee on some days – yesterday I had a total of three espressos and a mug of black coffee made from a stove-top. This amounts to probably thrice as much caffeine as I usually take in, and it’s not something I like to keep up. Here’s why.

While coffee is fantastic for all of the above reasons, I ensure that I don’t drink coffee at any point after the morning. This is because I don’t want to interrupt my sleep at night, which is the prime anabolic window. If you’re drinking upwards of a pint of Americano-strength coffee in a day, leading that into the afternoon and evening, this will affect your natural sleep patterns negatively. How do you think that’s going to affect your muscle growth? Negatively.

Caffeine is one of those great things you have to enjoy in moderation, or else risk limiting your gains significantly. If you’re drinking loads of coffee or energy drinks every day, all day long, try limiting your intake to just the morning when you wake up. You’ll be tired all the time while your body adjusts to a more natural pattern. You’ll sleep more, and most importantly when it comes to muscle hypertrophy, you’ll grow more.

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