I love coffee. Actually, I’m obsessed – and I know I’m not the only one. Although some may consider drinking coffee to be a bad habit, it actually has many benefits.
Filled with antioxidants, coffee is known to help improve circulation, boost memory and, get ready for this one, it can even enhance your workouts! Treating your morning cup of joe as a pre-workout drink may keep you focused and increase your energy, which may lead to greater results even faster! Find out when, how much and what type of coffee is beneficial before exercise.
1. How soon before my workout should I drink coffee?
The best time of day to use coffee as your pre-workout drink is in the morning (or early afternoon if you are used to the caffeine). Not only will it help you wake up, but it will also improve focus and may help push you through a tough workout, resulting in improved muscle strength. The optimal time to have your coffee is about one hour before you exercise. Drinking a cup late in the day is not recommended, because it could interfere with a good night’s sleep.
If you’re a seasoned coffee drinker, having a medium-sized cup, with about 200 mg of caffeine is a good start. If you’re a newbie, try 100 mg of caffeine and increase as your body becomes accustomed to it. Everyone is different, so always listen to what your body is telling you. Going overboard with caffeine may make you feel nauseated. That being said, too little may offer no effect at all. Increase slowly and you’ll better understand your tolerance level.
3. What type of coffee is right for me?
Contrary to what you may think, darker roasted coffee has less caffeine than a lighter version. If you find yourself super sluggish before your workout, go for the lighter roast. On a normal day, the dark roast will work just fine.
4. But isn’t coffee dehydrating?
The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic (which means it can increase urination). However, studies now show that the caffeine doesn’t cause dehydration. After several days of consistent intake of coffee, your body can adjust. Even though coffee won’t dehydrate you, sweating will – so as always, remember to keep water consumption high during exercise.
5. It can accelerate fat burning
Having a black cup of coffee before you hit the gym can help encourage fat to be used as energy. Caffeine, in general, may also boost metabolism. That extra metabolic lift during your workout helps to burn more calories throughout the day. Another bonus to drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee is their ability to reduce your appetite, making you feel less hungry between meals.