Caffeine, as many of you know is a stimulant found in coffee. Interestingly enough, intake of caffeine has been shown to inhibit mTOR, which actually stops your body’s ability to build muscle. Exercise does a similar thing – basically your body is telling you “hold off on the muscle building for a while, we need to save that energy and expend it working out (or evolutionarily: hunting prey / running from a predator).” Interestingly enough, fasting (not eating for an extended period of time) has a similar effect as well.
When your body realizes that you are done working out, it goes into total recovery mode – meaning that mTOR is re-activated and actually more energy than usual is going towards re-building those muscles to be more powerful than before. Because coffee, exercise, and fasting all have this effect, the muscle building that occurs after doing all three of these things at once is completely transformative. Therefore, coffee should be consumed before a workout (potentially while fasting) and this is known as ‘tripling down on mTOR.’ Consuming coffee after a workout could potentially shut down your muscle repair system and cancel out your muscle-building efforts.
In my experience, tripling down on mTOR is an unbelievably effective way to build muscle as well as get good at something (cycling, running, cow-tipping) VERY quickly. Of course, there is also the added benefit of caffeine giving you a pick-up before a workout, anyway!
So cyclists - as tempting as it is, don't hang out at the coffee shop in your kit post-ride, do it before!
As always, try it out for yourself and share the results with us! Perhaps you can even design a self-experiment.