Like many of you, I can't wait for that first sip of French Roast to make me feel like I'm finally starting my day. Coffee is one of those things, up there with eggs and soy, that sparks lively debate about its health benefits and failings. For the time being at least, it appears that coffee is getting significant praise as a pre- and post- workout beverage.
Enjoying some coffee before you hit the gym may
help reduce muscle soreness substantially.
Pre Workout Jumpstart—
Beyond the simple fact that you want to be awake and alert for your workouts, you also want to elevate your intensity and stamina. Coffee may be the ticket. Studies have shown that a reasonable amount of coffee, as much as two cups, can give you an intensity boost and push your overall potential for hard work. A pre-workout coffee may also be just the thing to get you motivated.
Additionally, enjoying some coffee before you hit the gym may help reduce muscle soreness substantially. Research suggests that caffeine is able to block chemicals in the body that cause soreness and may, in fact, reduce aches and pain overall. If you sweeten your coffee try using natural honey rather than sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Post Workout Recovery—
There is evidence that caffeine could significantly shorten recovery time after exercise. After your workout try having coffee with carbs, like bananas, to help your muscles refuel.
And the Bittersweet?—
While coffee is a diuretic and therefore increases the need for bathroom breaks, the liquid from coffee largely replaces the fluids lost so you’d need to drink an awful lot of coffee for the slightest risk of dehydration. Sugar, on the other hand, slows hydration and can cause you to feel like you need water.
Finally, as you probably already realize, caffeine is definitely a drug. But did you know it’s widely considered a performance enhancing drug? In fact, starting around 1972 up until 2004, coffee was on the list of banned substances for the Olympics. Even today, there is a limit to the amount of caffeine that can show up in an athlete’s urine.
So make it strong and perhaps coffee will make you stronger!