Do you ever suffer from a pre-workout or caffeine crash?
In most instances, the two are usually related and while the benefits of caffeine are widely researched and documented – especially when it comes to working out – the drawbacks are always less considered.
Well, there is an ingredient/supplement that aims to combat this and it’s known as Dicaffeine Malate. So just what is Dicaffeine Malate? Read on and I’ll cover what it is, uses, benefits, and whether or not it can be used as a pre-workout.
What Is Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the most popular ingredients in the world, with proven benefits for increasing focus and fighting fatigue when working out. Stimulants like caffeine are almost always in pre-workout supplements due to these benefits.
However, there are also downsides with caffeine including ‘caffeine crash’, the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue that comes from the harsh spike, and then a drop in energy levels. The type of caffeine we consume can make a big difference to this caffeine crash and to your overall workout.
Check out this video which explains the impact caffeine has on our bodies:
So, here I’m going to discuss an increasingly popular type of caffeine known as dicaffeine malate and compare this with caffeine anhydrous, which is the main type of caffeine found in pre-workout supplements.
What Is Dicaffeine Malate?
Dicaffeine malate is made up of around 75% caffeine and 25% malic acid which have been fused together. Malic acid acts as a buffer when digesting caffeine, leading to a sustained release which gives longer-lasting benefits. As a result, dicaffeine malate is an increasingly popular pre-workout.
Dicaffeine malate still has the same impact as other stimulants on your nervous system, meaning that it still provides that much-needed boost of energy before a workout. The added benefit though is that through the inclusion of malic acid the caffeine is buffered. This has two main advantages.
Firstly, because the caffeine is buffered it’s less hard on your digestive system. A common complaint with caffeine in pre-workouts is the side effects like stomach cramps and nausea. You’re less likely to experience these side effects with dicaffeine malate because the caffeine is buffered.
The second benefit is that dicaffeine malate has a sustained release. Most of us will be familiar with the boost of energy caffeine provides, but also the crash that comes after it. Dicaffeine malate provides a gradual and longer-lasting boost of energy so you shouldn’t experience that huge crash afterward.
How Much Caffeine Is in Dicaffeine Malate?
The amount of caffeine in dicaffeine malate will vary depending on the dosage. As I mentioned, dicaffeine malate is made up of approximately 75% caffeine and 25% malic acid. So if you had 100 mg of dicaffeine malate then you would have 75mg of caffeine and 25mg of malic acid.
What’s the Difference Between Caffeine Anhydrous and Dicaffeine Malate?
In pre-workout supplements, there are various types of caffeine. You’ll often see caffeine anhydrous and dicaffeine malate. Both of these types provide benefits in terms of giving an increased boost of energy, but there are key differences between the two.
Caffeine anhydrous is more common in pre-workout supplements. It’s a very concentrated form of caffeine because it’s been dehydrated. This process removes water leaving a strong form of caffeine.
As it’s a more concentrated form, caffeine anhydrous is fast-acting and is usually absorbed into your bloodstream less than an hour after consumption. However, the downside is it’s also metabolized quickly, with the effects peaking in less than two hours and wearing off shortly after.
As the caffeine wears off you can feel an intense caffeine crash. This can leave you feeling exhausted and fatigued, which isn’t ideal after working out. This is why dicaffeine malate can be a better option.
As it’s a buffered form of caffeine, dicaffeine malate is absorbed more slowly by your body, meaning that the boost of energy you feel is more gradual and longer-lasting. As the energy boost it gives is more gradual, you don’t have that harsh crash afterward either.
Dicaffeine malate is also less likely to cause other side effects associated with the synthetic caffeine anhydrous commonly found in pre-workout supplements, such as stomach problems.
Dicaffeine Malate Dosage
The dosages you’ll commonly see of dicaffeine malate vary from about 50 mg to 300 mg per serving, although some might be even higher. In pre-workout supplements, dicaffeine malate dosages are usually on the lower end at around 50 mg to 100 mg. This is because it’s typically being combined with caffeine anhydrous.
Caffeine sensitivity varies from person to person, so the ideal mix of these two products will be different. Usually though stacking these two is most effective and will give the most benefits. For this, you should aim to have around 50-100mg of dicaffeine malate mixed with 100-150mg of caffeine anhydrous.
My advice would be to not overdo it with caffeine. Caffeine has serious side effects and shouldn’t be taken at higher doses. Using a lower dose is just as effective in giving you the boost you need to get through a workout.
When to Take Dicaffeine Malate
Dicaffeine malate should be taken around an hour before your workout. Although you might feel a boost of energy not long after taking it, leaving it for an hour gives your body time to absorb the product and for the product to reach its full effect before you start working out.
How Long Does Dicaffeine Malate Last?
Due to the inclusion of malic acid, dicaffeine malate has a half-life of around 6 hours. It is metabolized more slowly than other forms of caffeine, such as anhydrous forms. As a result, it provides a more gradual and longer release of energy.
To expand on this a bit more, the half-life essentially indicates how long it takes for ingredients to be metabolized by your liver, essentially reducing the effect it is having on your system. Malic acid acts as a buffer. As a result, dicaffeine malate has a slower and more gradual release in your system compared with more concentrated forms of caffeine and may be felt for longer.
Pre-Workout ingredients are always a controversial subject. There are people who want their pre-workout kick to be as intense as possible which is usually achieved through a higher caffeine dose while others don’t want the stimulant effects from caffeine and prefer a non-stimulant form of pre-workout.
Regardless of which side of the pre-workout debate you prefer, dicaffeine malate could be the ideal solution that keeps everyone happy. By combining caffeine with a buffering ingredient in malic acid, you’ll still get the energy and mental boost from caffeine but with a more sustained and gradual come down.
This on the surface seems like an ideal combination but dicaffeine malate is still a relatively new ingredient/supplement so it might be a few years before we see the true benefit and widespread use within the supplement or health and fitness industry.
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