Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world - from a shot of espresso before work in the morning to a scoop of pre-workout or a few fat burners before a workout, it’s uses are countless. Sure, it’s a great tool to perk you up and help you focus, but does that translate over to a fight? Can Caffeine before a fight, boxing or MMA bout help boost performance? In this article, we’re going to take a look at how caffeine might be a great addition to your pre-workout and pre-fight tool belt.
Caffeine is classified as a drug used across many cultures around the world and is most well-known for its stimulatory effects. It’s not a banned substance under many fight organizations as well, meaning it’s totally fine to use in the lead up to a fight.
BENEFITS OF CAFFEINE FOR MMA, BOXING AND FIGHTERS
CAFFEINE CAN BOOST EXPLOSIVE AND CARDIOVASCULAR PERFORMANCE
A large systematic review (a scientific paper that looks at all of the available studies on a subject and draws a conclusion based on the available evidence) that looked at the effect of caffeine on sports performance showed that “men are able to produce more power, greater total weight lifted and more speed with the same dose of caffeine than women.” So in men, caffeine supplementation gave a boost to both aerobic and explosive performance, both incredibly important in fighting.
Another study looking into caffeine ingestion by boxing athletes concluded that ingestion of caffeine prior to a simulated boxing match has a positive effect on performance in amateur boxers by increasing high-intensity efforts and decreasing breaks during the fight. Furthermore, caffeine ingestion has been seen to significantly increase anaerobic performance which as mentioned in a previous article, is a prominent energy system used in combat sports.
CAFFEINE IMPROVES PAIN PERCEPTION IN FIGHTERS
Caffeine has been shown to reduce fatigue and improve your pain perception, meaning you can go longer and maybe withstand a few more hits during a fight when you supplement with caffeine.
As a fighter, it’s important that you’re not only able to hit your opponent, but that you can get hit. Even with the adrenaline pumping during a fight, caffeine sees to be able to improve your pain perception, which can be the difference between losing or winning a fight.
CAFFEINE IMPROVES REACTION TIME IN FIGHTERS
Caffeine can also improve reaction time, which is crucial for that perfect slip, parry or finding an opening to submit your opponent. In this study of Taekwondo fighters, caffeine ingestion caffeine reduced reaction time in non-fatigued conditions and delayed fatigue overall, meaning the fighters were able to react quicker during the bout and could fight longer without getting fatigued versus without caffeine.
CAFFEINE CAN HELP RESCUE TRAINING SESSIONS
There’s also some evidence that caffeine can help you push through training sessions that may be negatively impacted by poor sleep or low energy. The reality is that life is unpredictable - we go out, enjoy ourselves, go through stressful situations, deviate from diets etc. And while they can set us back in our training, it’s important to get right back at it the following day. Poor sleep or mood today can negatively impact your training sessions tomorrow, and it seems like caffeine can help rescue those training sessions. Helps you stick to your training!
CAFFEINE IS AN EFFECTIVE WEIGHT LOSS & FAT BURNING TOOL
Caffeine can also help you burn some fat - perfect for your weight cut or general training. Caffeine is the number 1 supplement that helps you lose body fat along with a negative energy balance is caffeine.
How does caffeine help with weight loss? By boosting your metabolism. Some studies show that caffeine can boost your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR - the energy you burn while at rest) by anywhere from 3-11%, with larger doses having an even greater effect.
Caffeine also stimulates your nervous system to send direct signals to the fat cells, telling them to break down fat.
All in all, Caffeine is a great addition to your weight loss regimen. Rather than drink 7 cups of coffee to be able to reap the weight loss benefits of caffeine, consider a fat burner supplement.
CAFFEINE FOR MMA FIGHTERS, BOXERS AND TRAINING
During a fight, you have periods of anaerobic, explosive scrambles (throwing a combo, trying to finish an opponent, wrestling them to the ground) as well as periods of sustained, slower-paced aerobic activity (these are periods where your cardio is tested). Making sure your cardio and explosiveness / power is top notch is key, and while most of that is a result of your training, a little caffeine can potentially help you push a little bit harder according to the science.
While it won’t make you a super-athlete, caffeine before an MMA fight, boxing match or general training can help you stay alert, improve your cardio, quicken your reaction time, make you more explosive and help you burn some fat along the way. It might help you take a few more punches and allow you to throw a few more combos before you gas out. Whether you get the caffeine through coffee, preworkouts, or fat burners, find a dose that works for you and use it to your advantage.
We recommend checking out the Training Camp Fat Burner - a fat burner supplement designed specifically for fighters, by fighters. Made with top quality ingredients and appropriate doses of different types of caffeine (anhydrous caffeine, green coffee bean extract, green tea extract) as well as other ingredients to help balance and improve the effect of the caffeine, you really can’t go wrong with this supplement for MMA Fighters and Boxers.