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Caffeine can be crucial to boosting muscle, burning fat and bringing every training session to life, but it's possible to have too much of a good thing

Waking up and smelling the coffee has become the workout warm-up of choice for growing numbers of gym goers, endurance sports enthusiasts and athletes of all levels. Three out of every four athletes will have consumed caffeine before taking part in a training session or competition event, according to one Spanish study, carried out to determine the extent of caffeine usage among athletes after it was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list.

That’s not necessarily a humble cup of ‘Smoky Joe’ they’re using for a pre-performance pep-up, either. Caffeine, in the form of bespoke sports supplements drinks and gels, is a multi-million pound business in its own right.

So what makes it – no matter what format it comes in – so integral to sport and exercise in general?

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