Millions of people start their morning routines with a cup of steaming hot coffee.
For some, this is the only way to wake up and get going. For others, this rush of energy helps
complement their workout regimen.
But should you consume caffeine before hitting the gym? Can it improve your exercise performance and support your stamina?
Read on to find out.
THE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE ON YOUR BODY
Caffeine is a compound mainly present in coffee, but you can find it in black and green tea, energy drinks, bars, sodas, and some over-the-counter medications.
Caffeine offers many health benefits as long as you consume it in moderation. Otherwise, it can have the opposite effect and give you jitters.
Exercise stimulates the production of dopamine (the hormone responsible for your brain’s reward and pleasure centers), and so does caffeine. This is why coffee may help you handle your workout session better.
If you’re thinking of implementing caffeine to boost your exercises , consider the amount your body can tolerate.
For example, if you’re not a habitual coffee drinker, start incorporating caffeine little by little. Too much caffeine at once can be a shock to your metabolism and lead to jitters, increased heart rate, and other side-effects.
SHOULD YOU HAVE CAFFEINE BEFORE YOU EXERCISE?
Both exercise and caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. For healthy people, this shouldn’t be a problem, but those with heart problems shouldn’t add unnecessary strain on the heart. The best solution is to consult your doctor and talk about your options based on your current health.
Caffeine starts to kick in about 10 minutes after consumption and this is when you’ll feel the first wave of alertness. It takes 45-60 minutes to feel the peak effects, when caffeine is fully absorbed into your bloodstream.
This timeframe may vary depending on how you metabolize caffeine. If you’re used to a certain daily dose, the key is to take it at the right time. Optimally, you’d consume your caffeinated beverage about 60-90 minutes before you start your workouts.
If you drink coffee every day, your body has probably developed a tolerance for caffeine. When you increase the caffeine dosage in order to improve your exercise performance, your body will get used to it soon after.
If your goal is to improve endurance, opt for healthier coffee add-ins instead of your usual creamer and sugar, such as:
● Coconut sugar
● Organic honey
● Almond milk
● Coconut milk
● Coconut oil
● Grass-fed butter
● Cocoa powder
● Cacao butter
● Pure and organic extracts
Don’t ever drink coffee or any caffeinated beverage on an empty stomach. This can have negative effects on your digestive system, health and wellbeing.
If you develop a tolerance, don’t make up for it by adding more caffeine into your diet. Instead, reduce the amount you’re already taking for a few weeks and start reintroducing it slowly again.
This way, the body has enough time to experience a withdrawal so when you start consuming more caffeine, it has enough time to redevelop a tolerance.
Always listen to your body and how you feel when you make changes to your diet or lifestyle. If higher amounts of caffeine don’t work for you, try alternative solutions.
PROTEIN COFFEE SHAKE RECIPE
This protein coffee shake recipe contains all the necessary ingredients to give you a healthy energy boost without being too intense on your metabolism.
● 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
● 1 tbsp. hemp seeds
● 1 scoop protein powder
● 1 tbsp. chia seeds
● 2/3 cup milk of choice + 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (or use 1⁄2 cup total of milk or yogurt)
● 1 banana (optional)
● Sweetener (optional)
● Ice (optional)*
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well incorporated.
*Pro tip: If you don’t want the ice watering down your shake, make frozen coffee cubes. Pour one cup of fresh coffee (cooled to room temp) into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Next time you’ll want to chill your iced coffee or protein shake, just add a couple of coffee ice cubes.
BOTTOM LINE: CAFFEINE CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR EXERCISE
Drinking a cup of strong coffee or black tea at least an hour and a half before your session can actually help you perform and endure your workouts better.
Head over to our blog The Roaster’s Voice where we talk about everything coffee and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know of new articles and product discounts.
Frosina A. Ivanovic is a content marketing specialist and writer. She’s passionate about quality coffee, travel, wellness, and digital marketing. You can connect with Frosina on LinkedIn or her website, Zhillmatic.