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How to use caffeine to boost your performance

The mental game
The biggest difference between elite and amateur players is their ability to make the right decisions at the right time. This is especially true during high-pressure situations. Studies have shown that elite players have a superior ability to focus on the most important information on the pitch (such as the runs of their team-mates).

Such levels of mental performance are especially important at the end of the games where research has shown that most goals are scored. Obviously, we know that as the game progresses we feel more fatigued and this may lead to greater lapses in concentration and breakdown in decision making abilities. As a result, if you have the ability to reduce such decreases in physical and mental performance you could gain a significant advantage on the pitch.

How caffeine can help
Caffeine has been acknowledged as a supplement which provides legal performance gains for athletes. In simple terms, caffeine is a stimulant that improves both endurance-based performance and repeated sprint abilities by providing a mental boost and improving alertness and concentration.

It does this by working on a certain receptor in the body, which leads to improved brain to muscle function; improved alertness and a reduction in how hard we find exercise. Other research also suggests that caffeine can aid focus and decision-making abilities in footballers. This has been demonstrated in studies showing that caffeine can aid passing accuracy and skill performance.

How much and when to take it?
We recommend taking 75 – 150 mg 30 minutes before exercise for high intensity, events such as football to ensure the body starts with elevated caffeine levels. Where hydration is important, caffeine products can also be consumed with SiS GO Hydro or GO Electrolyte to ensure a combination of energy, caffeine and fluid delivery during exercise. In fact, caffeine consumption in addition to carbohydrate has been shown to have an increased benefit.

Beyond our award-winning SiS GO Caffeine Shot (150 mg of caffeine) you may also want to consider the following products (with their caffeine content included in brackets) GO Energy + Caffeine Gel (75 mg), Mini GO Energy + Caffeine Bars (75 mg) and SiS Hydro + Caffeine (75mg).

It is also worth noting that caffeine typically takes around five hours to wear off in the body. As a result, you may want to factor in when you take caffeinated products prior to an evening kick off. For a 7.45 pm match, having your caffeine at around 6.00 pm should mean you benefit from the effects of the caffeine without suffering from disrupted sleep after the game.

Key advice

  • Football relies heavily both on physical and mental attributes of players.
  • Caffeine is one of only a few products which can have a positive impact on both physical and mental performance by delaying feelings of fatigue.
  • We recommend taking onboard 75-150 mg of caffeine around 30 minutes prior to kick off.
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