I am definitely fond of using caffeine to supplement my training and race performance. I have tried coffee, caffeine pills, energy gels with caffeine and now Voltz Energy shots.
The Evidence in Favour of Caffeine
The evidence for the improvement of exercise performance through using caffeine is certainly convincing. Many tests have indicated that caffeine can slow the depletion of muscle glycogen and enhance Free Fatty Acid mobilisation. This combination is a winner for performance in endurance activities. Caffeine has been shown to improve endurance and stamina under test conditions with athletes.
I took these ‘pocket rockets’ (as I have now named them) out with me on a long cycle recently (see photo evidence below). The small bottle tucked nicely into my cycle jersey and proved to be a handy pick-me-up 25 miles into the gusty ride when my energy levels were dangling by a thread..
It’s a small package for a powerful product!
Read the Small Print
As the bottle says “No crash, no carbs, only energy”. At only 3 calories per bottle you can see the selling point for a quick energy boost! Looking at the ingredients, the usual suspects are there as an energy boosting product: Vitamins, Amino Acids, L-Taurine, Folic Acid, Sucralose (Sweetner). So like many of these shot products on the market, they are not entirely natural or for the most health conscious people but the positive benefit in a race or hard training makes them a worthwhile addition to my mid-exercise fuelling strategy. Taurine is popular with the body-building community as a beneficial anti-oxidant which protects cellular activity.
Probably best not to down this stuff too late in the day though if you want to get some good zzzzzzsss. One shot contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
There is that added psychological effect too where you think ‘I’m taking in a product which says it will boost my performance so I’m bound to perform better.’ Personally I find this to be quite a strong mental approach to take. Placebos can work in experiments so when compelled with something that is actually going to give you a kick, I think you can double your gains if you get in the right frame of mind.