Espresso, long, or cappuccino? Most people enjoy an energizing cup of Joe to get their mornings started. It’s a ritual enjoyed by billions of people. But have you ever considered drinking coffee before a work out or exercise session? Coffee, with its caffeinated goodness, can provide you with extra energy and focus to help you maximize your workouts. In this article, we take a look at how. Additionally, we note some potential risks of overconsumption of caffeine.
Before answering that question, we have to take a look caffeine. Caffeine is a compound found in coffee and other foods and drinks such as guarana, cocoa, soda, and tea. It’s also one of the most widely used and studied psychoactive compounds globally. Many studies have shown that coffee is effective and has numerous benefits for the human body. In this discussion, we explore the potential benefits of coffee for the body and how it can be used as a pre-work out. Read on.
Improves Strength and Endurance
As noted, coffee contains caffeine, which is a psychoactive compound. As a stimulant, caffeine triggers your nervous system and increases nerve activity. Subsequently, this triggers the release of adrenaline and dopamine hormones.
Adrenaline activates your body’s flight or fight response which causes air passages to expand and supply muscles with oxygen. It also triggers the blood vessels to contract and redirect blood flow to muscle groups such as the lungs and the heart. Therefore, your heart will beat faster, and your breathing will get faster.
On the other hand, dopamine is also known as the “feel-good hormone” because it gives you the desire to act or do something. It’s involved in affecting your mood, motor function, and decision-making. Like adrenaline, this is reflected in the body by increased heart rate, blood pressure, and blood supply to the muscles.
By increasing blood circulation, more nutrients and oxygen are transported to the muscles, which makes them stronger and healthier. Thus, this helps improve your performance by increasing strength and endurance.
Related Article: Does Coffee Dehydrate You?
Improves your Aerobic Endurance
During a workout, your muscles work harder, and the body uses more oxygen. Hence, to cope with this demand, your breathing increases from 15 times per minute to up to 60 times per minute. Regardless of your workout routines whether it’s biking, jogging, or weightlifting, your body needs to sustain the increased energy demands.
Worth noting, oxygen and glucose are the body’s main energy building blocks. These compounds support your heart in pumping more blood and ensure the lungs carry out their function of inhaling and exhaling. When you work out, the muscles move vigorously and produce a chemical molecule called ATP. The blood transports oxygen to all body parts, including the muscles.
Studies have shown that acute caffeine intake boosts muscle oxygen saturation, increasing tissue blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles during workouts. Therefore when you consume coffee before a workout, you’re likely to achieve better aerobic endurance. However, be sure not to over do it, as it can increase your heart rate and can cause you to have the jitters.
Daily caffeine intake is limited to 400 mg / day. This amounts to approximately 4 cups of 10oz coffees.
Related Article: Additional Information on Drinking Coffee Before a Workout
Increases Focus and Reduction in Fatigue Levels
Consuming caffeine allows you to have better concentration and, therefore, to be more focused and less tired during training. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help to increase alertness which can be helpful when trying to power through a tough workout.
Further, research has shown that drinking coffee can reduce fatigue during a workout and increase performance. Indeed a 2017 study on seven male participants revealed that drinking coffee improved time to exhaustion by up to 12%, subsequently leading to a decrease in fatigue.
Helps in Fat Burning
Research shows that caffeine at least 30 minutes before a workout increases fat oxidation. This explains why some food supplements such as those containing vitamins and minerals have caffeine as an ingredient.
Here is how it works. When burning fat, the body first stimulates the breakdown of adipose tissue(fat tissue) and releases fatty acids.
The body then uses the fatty acid for energy. Research shows that caffeine consumption increases the burning of fat and therefore it allows your body to burn more calories.
Which Coffees are Best for Working Out?
Having covered some of the benefits of drinking caffeine before working out, you should also know that not all coffees have the same caffeine contact. In fact, some brands have extra caffeinated brews to give you an extra boost of energy focus. One such option is available via Fire Department Coffee (FDC) which offers a strong dark roast chocked full of extra caffeinated goodness.
Check out our list of high caffeine coffees for some recommendations. There are some coffees that include extra caffeine in the beans.
Closing Thoughts: Health Benefits of Coffee
While caffeine is often associated with negative side effects such as anxiety and lack of sleep, it can have some benefits for athletes looking to improve their performance at a moderate dosage. As with all things, moderation and balance are key. You can drink a cup of coffee if you feel a little sluggish before your workout. However, be careful not to overdo it because you may get addicted and risk side effects.
Note: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your doctor or healthcare professional if you have any concerns regarding the effects of caffeine on your health.