In today’s daily rush, people are working harder to be more successful, yet they still wonder if they are doing the right thing for their health. If you ask almost everyone around you about the benefits of a good diet and regular exercise, you will find a consensus that they are both a crucial part of a healthy life. So, what is preventing people from exercising regularly? If you ask yourself, the answer most of the time is “there is no energy after a long day at work”. This article discusses the importance of coffee in providing energy for better physical performance.
Coffee, Exercise and Performance
Exercise should be part of your life whether it is in doing the daily chores, playing with the kids, trying to lose weight or if you are an athlete trying to win a competition. In either case, you need a moderate boost to improve your exercise performance, be it simply to burn more calories, be more active or win a gold medal.
How can coffee be a good pre-exercise beverage?
It is now a well-known fact that coffee contains caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in leaves, nuts and seeds of different plants. A cup of coffee contains around 75mg of caffeine. The mechanism through which coffee enhances performance is not fully established yet but all research has shown that as little as 90 mg of caffeine from coffee can enhance the performance of athletes involved in endurance exercise, short and long duration as well as high intensity exercise. In some cases, the performance was improved by 12.4%!
- For better physical performance, the recommended intake of caffeine before exercise is 1-2mg/kg of body weight (e.g. a 70 kg adult should take around 140mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to 2 cups of coffee before a workout).
Good to know
Moderate doses of caffeine, an equivalence of about 2 cups of coffee, reduce by half the post-workout muscle pain.
Does the caffeine in coffee lead to dehydration during exercise?
Many people worry that due to the diuretic (increase in water excretion from the body) effect of caffeine, they will be at risk of dehydration during exercise. In fact, recent studies have proven that with a healthy diet and an adequate daily water intake, the diuretic effect of caffeine remains insignificant and very mild where it was found that:
- An amount up to 300mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to 3 to 4 cups of soluble coffee per day, will not alter body fluid levels.
Remember Remember the best way of remaining hydrated during exercise is to drink water and when the workout surpasses 1-2 hours, an isotonic drink that contains sodium, potassium and some sugar would be ideal to aid in restoring blood sugar and the lost electrolytes.
Getting into stride with coffee
If you don’t drink coffee and you wish to start now, make sure you start gradually. Take half a cup in the morning for a couple of days and then you can increase to one cup daily for a week. Eventually you will build up a tolerance and you can start taking it in the afternoon as well and before working out.
- Remember that the effect of caffeine lasts up to 3 hours, so make sure to take it an hour to an hour and a half before working out.
Good to know
Not only does coffee enhance physical performance and give you more energy to workout, it also decreases the feeling of fatigue during the last minutes of your workout.Research has shown that coffee intake also increases mental alertness, which in turn enhances your physical abilities. Experts always say that winning is all in your head!