BUT FIRST, COFFEE
We, Filipinos, are avid coffee drinkers. We drink coffee for almusal, merienda, and even at night when we’re faced with long hours of work ahead. Coffee, for us, is the source of a much-needed energy boost in the morning and the perfect drink to our merienda. But more than a staple drink in our everyday lives, coffee has surprising benefits for our workouts as well.
Drinking Coffee Before a Workout
Coffee is the world’s most popular source of caffeine, a natural stimulant found in nuts, leaves, and seeds of various plants. Caffeine acts on our central nervous system“ by promoting spinal cord excitability and muscle fiber recruitment. In other words, caffeine enhances our performance during workouts and training while delaying muscle fatigue.
For optimal effects, Heidi Skolnik, M.S., a sports nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc., advises drinking coffee an hour before your workout.
Coffee = More Calories Burned – Muscle Pain
A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that 15 percent more calories were burned by trained athletes who took in caffeine before training compared to those who did not.
Aside from this, coffee can decrease your perceived muscle pain while performing your workout and even decrease muscle soreness after a workout.
Benefits of Coffee for Athletes
For triathletes out there, studies have shown that swimmers who consumed caffeine perceived lower feelings of exertion while cyclist showed 15 minutes longer time of exertion while caffeinated.
Other benefits listed by Robert Wildman, Ph.D., RD, FISSSN in bodybuilding.com includes the following:
• Endurance athletes improved performance by an average of 3.3 percent (some reported up to 17 percent increases).
• Strength and power sports performance improved up to 20 percent.
• Sprinters improved performance on average by 6.5 percent.
• Weightlifters improved performance on average by 9.5 percent.
• Rate of perceived exertion (fatigue) is decreased by 6 percent on average
But just how much coffee can you drink?
Too much of anything is bad especially when it’s your health at stake. The optimal daily caffeine consumption for a healthy adult is said to be at 400 mg of caffeine as a maximum limit. This is roughly equivalent to 3-4 8 oz cups of brewed coffee.
Wait! Before you run the nearest coffee shop we have to tell you a reminder!
The benefits of coffee can be easily opposed by the things we put to add flavor in it like creamers, SUGAR, milk, whip cream, etc. A cup of brewed coffee alone has less than 5 calories in it but the add-ons you put can dramatically increase the sugar level and calories in your favorite cup making it more of a dessert than a caffeine source.
So before you get tempted to order a large Frappuccino (which interestingly contains about 510 calories!!!!), you might want to read first our article about sugar consumption here:
Related: How Sugar Can Make you Fat
With all that said, tara isang barako bago tumakbo!