How Coffee Can Improve Your Fitness

1
Coffee is an Effective Pre-Workout Drink

coffee
Suzi Marshall/Stocksy United

Look no further than your pantry or local coffee shop for an all natural stimulant and effective pre-workout drink. Studies have shown coffee enhances our athletic performance along with other health benefits.

No need to rush to a supplement store and purchase fancy packaged powders promising to burn fat faster. Firing up the coffee pot and enjoying a warm cup of Joe, minus the cream and sugar may be all you need to boost that workout.

Coffee not only improves your workout but provides numerous health benefits to maintain a fit body. Check out additional reasons coffee is beneficial to your health and fitness.

2
Coffee Boosts Metabolism

Drink Black Coffee
Black Coffee Prior to Workout Boosts Metabolism. webphotographeer/Getty Images

Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant shown to enhance the metabolic rate. In a study utilizing four different trials, the group consuming coffee showed a metabolic rate that increased “significantly during the 3 hours after caffeine ingestion.”

The increased metabolic rate was also “accompanied by significant increases in fat oxidation.” This means better overall fat burn during a workout. Consuming one to no more than two cups of coffee one hour prior to training seems to have the best effect.

The body treats coffee and caffeine just like any other drug and habitual large dose use would be counterproductive. In this case, more is not better and it takes a small amount to achieve great results.

Those with medical conditions like hypertension or caffeine sensitivity should not drink coffee without having a discussion with their physician. Overall, this is great news for coffee drinkers and those who have been considering coffee for a pre-workout drink!

3
Coffee Improves Athletic Performance

Black Coffee and Athletic Performance
Coffee can Improve Athletic Performance. Erik Isakson Blend Images/Getty Images

Coffee has been linked to improved athletic performance. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, “caffeine is effective for enhancing various types of performance when consumed in low-to-moderate doses.”

Another finding published in Sports Medicine is caffeine can “permit the athlete to train at a greater power output and/or to train longer.”  Also stated “enhanced endurance or resistance to fatigue” when caffeine is consumed. 

Drinking coffee at least one hour to no less than 30 minutes prior to exercise seems to provide the best results. It appears more is not better when it comes to caffeine intake.

Consult your physician prior to drinking coffee if you suffer from medical conditions like hypertension. Coffee drinkers may find that a simple change of drinking coffee prior to working out will feel a significant difference in performance ability.

4
Coffee Enhances Mental Focus

Coffee Imroves Mental Focus
Coffee Provides a More Productive Workout. Cultura RM/Chad Springer Cultura/Getty Images

Coffee and caffeine have been shown to improve mental focus. When your thinking is clear, it helps your workout become more productive and effective.

According to Harvard Health Publications, coffee and caffeine can “give you a surge of energy and potentially improving mental performance and slowing age-related mental decline.”

Enjoying no more than 2 cups of black coffee per day will accomplish great results. It's important to consult your physician prior to drinking coffee if you suffer from medical conditions like hypertension. Otherwise, enjoy a cup of Java and think smart on your feet during your workout!

5
Coffee Reduces Muscle Pain

Track Runners
Drink Coffee Before Exercise to Reduce Muscle Pain. Patrik Giardino / Getty Images

Coffee and caffeine have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle pain. According to research published by the University of Illinois, study participants showed significantly reduced quadriceps pain after consuming caffeine. "Habitual caffeine drinkers demonstrated reduced pain with caffeine ingestion prior to exercise testing.”

Drinking a cup of coffee prior to exercise may help those who tend to give up during a workout. Exercise can cause painful lactic acid build-up when the muscle is stressed. Some tend to stop working out because of this discomfort. Coffee is linked to decreased muscle pain and prolonged energy output.

If you suffer from medical conditions like hypertension consult your physician prior to adding coffee to your menu. Regular coffee drinkers enjoy the fact coffee just may be the pre-workout drink that keeps you accountable to completing that exercise program!

6
Coffee Prevents Disease

Acup of coffee
Coffee Contains Antioxidants. MakiEni's photo / Getty Images

Coffee contains powerful antioxidants. According to research published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,“coffee provides one of the greatest sources of antioxidants in the American diet.” Antioxidants work by cleaning the blood, removing free radicals, and help the body fight disease and illness.

Coffee and caffeine health benefits have been linked to disease prevention. Studies have shown coffee to reduce inflammation, help Parkinson’s disease, and lower the incidence of certain cancers. It's also shown to lower the occurrence of gallstones.

The health benefits definitely support drinking black coffee but no more than 2 cups per day.  It is always better to play it safe and moderate coffee consumption.

Consult your physician if you experience rapid heartbeat, palpitations, or any other symptoms of caffeine overload. The same goes if you are hypertensive, pregnant, have diagnosed heart disease, or are nursing consult your doctor prior to drinking coffee.

Sources:

pubmed.gov, Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals, Acheson KJ, 5/80

jissn.com, International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance, Erica R Goldstein, 1/27/10

pubmed.gov, Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance and performance, Graham TE, 11/01

health.harvard.edu, Caffeine and a healthy diet may boost memory, thinking skills; alcohol’s effect uncertain, Stephanie Watson, 6/18/14

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