Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world and there are millions of people in the world who can’t imagine their mornings without it. This caffeine-rich beverage is available in several flavors and offers several health benefits. As a popular health drink, it is nothing short of amazing.
We are investigating just how exactly sipping your regular “cuppa” can affect your next workout. This article shall elaborate on the health effects of this beverage when taken before and after a workout session. We have also included a section for all non-coffee drinkers later in this post to help them get the same advantage.
Here is what every 100 gm of coffee offers:
Many people like to start their day with some Joe (a fancy name for coffee). Numerous studies now indicate that caffeine boosts blood supply through the arteries and can also help with losing some flab faster. If you prefer having it as a regular drink, you’ll be happy to know that this superfood can also boost your exercise performance.
If you are a fitness professional, you could derive the following health benefits from a cup of this caffeine-rich drink. The best thing is that it will also give you a “kick” to stay up with your workouts.
Here’s why you should have a cup of coffee for your workout:
One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that having a small amount of caffeine after a workout may help, especially for endurance athletes. It says that having carbs along with caffeine instead of having carbs alone resulted in a 66 percent increase in muscle glycogen four hours after a grueling workout session.
Glycogen is stored in the liver to provide energy to the muscles during exercise. Having more energy reserves means that you will be able to perform harder and longer during your workouts. It is the main source of energy after the depletion of blood glucose levels.
One recent Japanese research has found that regular consumption of coffee improves blood circulation. Increased blood circulation means that your muscles and blood cells will get more oxygen, and you can get this advantage to exercise better and longer.
It is also important to go with regular coffee because it is rich in caffeine. The decaffeinated or decaf variants of coffee may experience a 30% increase in blood flow within 75 minutes as compared to their counterparts (who consumed decaffeinated coffee).
Studies show that people who drink a cup of coffee one hour before a high-intensity exercise may experience less muscle pain. This will allow you to push harder and lift heavier during HIITs, Pilates, and other strength or weight training sessions, thus helping you burn more fat and gain more muscle.
This caffeine-rich beverage reduces pain because it stimulates adenosine receptors in our brain, the neurotransmitters that help us perceive pain. However, it should be noted that drinking too much coffee can make you restless and irritated, even if you can’t sense any pain.
The best pre-workout coffee variants
Here are some coffee variants that you can have before workouts:
Café au Lait
Fresh coffee made and brewed of Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excela seeds is considered the best.
Coffee always increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels, right from the first cup. It thus makes perfect sense to understand that once your energy levels are up, you can get yourself “in the zone” in a faster and better manner.
You should aim for a half an hour window between your cup of coffee and working out for the best results. It is so because it takes usually about 45 minutes for the caffeine concentration to hit the peak in our body and to help your blood pressure levels go optimal.
Note: Having more than one cup at a time of hot or cold coffee could further spike your blood pressure, and this could be dangerous for hypertension patients and those with a sluggish metabolism.
Here are some more precautions you should take:
1. Don’t have too much of it. Coffee is an amazing beverage and can boost your performance, but having too much of it may lead to nausea, heart palpitation, and nervousness.
2. People with higher blood pressure and prolonged constipation should lower their consumption of coffee or replace it with other hot yet healthy beverages such as white tea or green tea.
3. Some studies also show that caffeine immediately after a workout may raise cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and this may slow down recovery.
4. Make sure you drink plenty of water every day.
5. Have coffee in healthy ways. For example, instead of adding cream and sugar, have it black or with almond milk. Skip the sugar and add ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom for flavor. You can also add tea or coffee to a fruit smoothie.
6. Green tea has a very low amount of caffeine but is still a great pre-workout drink to keep you going, plus it boosts weight loss and metabolism.
If you do not prefer to have coffee or if you are allergic to it, there’s an easy way out too. You can follow our five special tips to boost your energy levels without a cup of coffee too, and it is very easy to get started as well. It’s up next!
If you’re feeling tired all the time and are yawning every 5 minutes at work, chances are you aren’t doing much to boost your energy levels. Reaching out for a rich cup of a caffeine-rich beverage would naturally spike your blood pressure. The effects of such a beverage and sugar won’t wear off fast and they’d leave you sharper.
However, relying on a caffeine-rich beverage all the time is not good. If you’d like to boost energy without being overly dependent on one thing, the following tips and tricks would help you get better results over time:
Being around people who are constantly complaining about how tired they are won’t do you any good. Hanging out more with motivating and uplifting people shall encourage you to take some positive steps in life besides revitalizing your mind and body. The energy that comes from your friends can easily rub off on you so be sure to pick the right ones.
Your confidence and self-belief are important factors that determine the quality of your life. While being around negative people is sure to hurt your psyche, you would not be doing yourself any good if you start feeling bad about yourself too. Staying positive and energetic will only help you.
If you’re too dependent on coffee to kill your afternoon slump, you should try replacing it with green tea. It has a tiny amount of caffeine but it also has EGCG, an active compound that helps in weight loss. This beverage is also packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals and resist fatigue.
Also read: What Mistakes Could Make You Fat?
This natural and healthy beverage is also rich in antioxidants and bioactive compounds that can help you stay younger and fresher. It would also help you if you are addicted to tea or coffee, and are looking for ways to address the health concerns caused by it. You may also go with herbal teas if you’d like.
Making a green smoothie to have on the go while on your way to work is a great way to have a ton of nutrients in one cup. People who have nutrient-rich smoothies for breakfast are less likely to grab a cup of coffee later for more energy.
You can also prepare a green smoothie. Simply throw in whatever greens you have such as kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, and/or celery into the blender along with fruits to improve the flavor, such as an apple or an orange. Remember to use only fresh fruits for the purpose.
Inhaling and exhaling completely is one of the best ways you can energize yourself. Simply sit straight, close your eyes, and focus only on your breath. Inhale slowly to a count of 6, hold for 3 seconds, tensing all the muscles in your body. And then exhale for a count of 6, relaxing your muscles. Hold your breath again for 3 seconds and then repeat this cycle several times.
You should also go with Zen or Yoga. While breathing deeply would help you stay calm and happy, it is not a replacement for silencing your mind and the thoughts that affect you. We recommend that you consult a Yoga trainer near you or online for the best results.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue. Lack of fluids in your body can drop your blood volume, pushing the body to work harder into supplying oxygen and nutrients to all cells. Some other symptoms may be slower metabolism, mental fog, poor concentration, dizziness, irregular blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and short-term memory.
To combat the effects of dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when you feel drained. You can choose to drink lukewarm or cold water as you prefer (you can add some lemon juice or glucose to it- this would help you drink more water per instant).
Exercising is all about staying away from one’s indulgent eating and drinking habits, and using one’s energy to burn the excess body fat in a smart way. Going for the above tips would help you have more health-centric benefits over time and you can make them even better by making smart changes to your lifestyle. This is especially true if you haven’t tried the good effects of coffee so far.
We also advise you to go online and consult a fitness trainer to get yourself a personalized diet plan to work more and work better every day. You can choose to opt for gym-based aerobic or anaerobic exercises or the more subtle forms like Yoga or Zen, and a dance form like Zumba to stay fit. Here’s a link to help you do that.
Fitness forms the basis of a happy and fulfilled life, and the best thing is that you can start from your place only. Remember, help is just a phone call away from you!