The one thing I can’t live without. Coffee.
I’m certain many of you can relate to this. You can usually find me drinking it at least once a day (max 2, but it’s rare). Although it’s a great pick me up in the morning or afternoon, one of the best times to drink it is before your workout. If you work out in the morning, this is a great alternative to a “pre-workout,” which seems unhealthy due to all the chemicals and possible side effects. So next time you’re planning on hitting the gym or going for a run, consider the following benefits of coffee and why you should be drinking it prior to your routine.
A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that when athletes consumed caffeine prior to their workout, they “burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who ingested a placebo.” It also helps you burn more calories throughout the day because it will increase your metabolism.
Improved Blood Flow
Studies have shown that when people consume caffeine, they experience “a 30% increase in blood flow” in comparison to those who do not do not consume caffeine. Although this study was performed on people who are not regular coffee drinkers, it is more than likely the case for those of us who consider ourselves
addicts. During workouts, our muscles need oxygen and the improved circulation absolutely helps with our workouts.
Coffee helps with preserving muscle? You better believe it! Results from a study performed at Conventry University found that the consumption of caffeine “can offset the loss of muscle strength that occurs with aging.” The same study also concluded that “caffeine can help preserve overall fitness, improve muscle tone, and reduce the risk of age-related injuries.” For a single cup of Joe, I’d say it’s worth it!
Less Perceived Muscle Pain
This one is interesting. A study conducted at the University of Illinois found that the consumption of caffeine prior to a work out “reduced perceived muscle pain,” regardless of whether you are a regular coffee drinker or not. The interesting part about this is that when you experience less pain during your work outs, you can push harder, leading to improvements in strength and/or endurance
This benefit is the most obvious one. The increased energy from coffee will let you be more focused and aware during your workouts. When your focus is on your workout, you are much more likely to have a more productive and effective session.
Adding in a cup of coffee prior to your work out may be the answer to push a little harder while gaining some benefits. Although it won’t give you superpowers, it’ll add some “oomph” to your work outs, leading so some improvements. Keep in mind, the best type of coffee to drink is black – no added sugar, creamer, etc. If you MUST add something, try a soy, almond, or cashew milk. Limit the sugar intake and it will be MUCH better for you. If you decide to give it a shot, let me know how your workouts go with this addition!
Photo Credit: Parker Cote Elite Fitness