If you’re like me, you like drinking coffee in the morning but you also like working out in the morning. The great news is, you don’t have to choose between the two. Coffee can actually be super beneficial when it comes to enhancing your workout. In fact, it’s been found that about 75 percent of Olympic athletes consume caffeine in some form before their workout. If that’s not enough to convince you, then keep reading because I’m not done.
Hello legal performance enhancer
Caffeine actually boosts your workout physically and mentally in both aerobic exercise and resistance training. A study on caffeine consumption and resistance training showed that participants who had coffee before their workout were able to produce more reps until failure than their decaffeinated counterparts.
Additionally, a study on coffee consumption and aerobic exercise found those who consumed coffee performed better and also felt that they exerted less energy than those who did not consume coffee. So basically, they got a better workout and felt less tired afterwards because of our BFF, coffee.
You’re not just physically prepared, you’re more mentally prepared
The same study on resistance training also found that caffeine filled participants felt more mentally ready to exert themselves. This means that coffee not only helped produce a better workout but also improved the psychophysiological factors relating to exercise as well. So, so far coffee improves physical performance as well as mental readiness, both of which are obvious pro’s in the workout world.
Caffeine helps you perform better in hot weather
One study found when comparing a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink group to a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink and a caffeinated sports drink, the participants who were caffeinated performed 15-23% greater than their counterparts. The same result was found with perceived exertion as the previous study; the individuals who had caffeine felt as though they spent less energy than their counterparts, even though they had performed better. Magic.
It should be consumed early
It’s probably best to avoid drinking coffee immediately before your workout. This could lead to some digestive issues mid-workout and no one wants that and it’s definitely not cute. The preferred time between consumption and action is about 75 minutes. This window period was proven to have performance benefits without causing any issues during the workout.
Coffee makes you poop
It’s a natural laxative. This video is informative and easy to follow. But to sum it up: coffee is really acidic and acidic things cause the stomach to secrete gastric acid and chlorogenic acid. Gastric acid helps break down proteins and chlorogenic acids help the stomach move food into the intestines.
Additionally, coffee increases the levels of gastrin and chloecystokinin. Gastrin induces peristalsis (AKA the contraction of muscles in colon that helps move food out of your body) and chloecystokinin basically helps regulate your bowel movements. In fact, coffee has been shown to affect the movement of the large intestines in as little as four minutes after ingestion.
It’s also important to note that it’s not caffeine that produces this effect because soda and teas don’t get your stomach moving the way coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, does.
Coffee helps you burn more fat
Caffeine has a thermogenic, AKA heat-causing, affect on your metabolism. What it comes down to is that caffeine helps the release of short-chain fatty acids into our bloodstream which allows you to be able to convert fat to usable energy. When this happens, you are conserving glycogen, which your body also uses for energy when you work out. So not only is coffee there to make you mentally ready to work out but then you get to reap the physical benefits as well.
But always remember too much of a good thing exists
Sam Smith once said: “Too much of a good thing won’t be good anymore” and he was right. Too much caffeine can produce less desirable side effects such as anxiety, jitters or heart palpitations.
Also, caffeine can become addictive if you overdo it. Withdrawal can manifest itself in people who consume more than 200 mg per day habitually when you work out and 400 mg per day when you don’t.
Lastly, caffeine might affect your sleeping schedule if you drink too much. Some people metabolize coffee more quickly than others so be aware: if you’re very sensitive to coffee, it will probably affect your sleep so don’t drink it after the morning.
Now go grab a cup of coffee, drink it and maybe do the crossword, and then throw on your sneakers and get after it.