Can a well timed cup of coffee assist your workout?

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Coffee is tasty, we all know this. Coffee and cafe culture has long since eclipsed the pub life in modern times, something that nobody would have expected to happen twenty years ago.

In 2017, the idea of having coffee regularly is commonplace. But a lot of people still overlook the effects that caffeine can have on your body. The mixture of caffeine and exercise can end up being negative. The common queries that come with drinking coffee and mixing it with exercise are usually:

  • “Will drinking it and exercising cause me to cramp?”
  • “Will this intake of coffee cause me to become dehydrated?”
  • “It coffee a diuretic?”
  • “Will caffeine actually give me a boost whilst working out?”

Give Me A Boost

The queries above are very reasonable, especially when you consider most athletes now want to get the most out of their exercises with a busy schedule. Coffee does not seem to cause dehydration in athletes. In a review of ten studies that have been carried out on the subject, it was found that consuming up to 550 mg of caffeine per day does not cause fluid – electrolyte imbalances in athletes or just normal fitness fanatics.

When it was reviewed again, it was found that caffeine consumption is not associated with having poor hydration levels. Caffeine can be used to help your muscles perform repeated contractions, which is similar to the effect calcium has on your body. This effect may actually keep the effects of cramp away during long periods of exercise.

  • Caffeine may benefit long periods of exercise where there is a large emphasis on repeated exercises but is highly unlikely to assist on any single reps
  • Caffeine can assist in reducing how tough your perceived training session is. The increased adrenaline levels will act as a pain blocker.
  • Caffeine can also act as a means of recovering after rather intense glycogen-depleting exercises. You usually gain as much as 66% more glycogen in your muscles four hours after exercising thanks to caffeine.

Why bother drinking coffee?

We understand coffee can be quite an acquired taste and is not exactly for everyone. We also understand it is not quite the magic solution to exercise fatigue we envisage. But it still seems to have a significant effect on your health and training, benefiting those who enjoy the taste.

We would advise finding and sticking to your own level of caffeine consumption. Everyone’s body is different and can only tolerate certain amounts of caffeine. Finding that limit is a great first step. Trying different methods and timings of caffeine intake is a good way of working out how effective caffeine can be to your workouts. Hitting that peak period can allow your workouts to be much more useful.

It would be advisable to track your mood when you take caffeine and when you don’t. Comparing between the two will show if caffeine and exercise is a mixture your body can handle or not. It would also be a good idea not to add any extras to your coffee. Simplistic and straight americano’s or espressos will be a lot more effective than cappuccinos or flat whites. Filling your already highly caffeinated drinks with cream, sugar or flavourings will any health benefits the coffee provides. This is due to adding excess flavours or sweeteners.

One of our most important pieces of advice would be not to use caffeine as a support device for your exercise. Having a long day working then relying on caffeine to boost yourself before exercising can provide nightmares to your cortisol levels, which is the last thing you want before exercising.

Coffee can be your best friend when it comes to exercising and working out. It is vital that you monitor yourself when consuming such levels of caffeine but if followed correctly you could find yourself completing a lot more exercises with an elevated level of ease.

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