What if you were improving your fitness every morning and you didn't even know it?
Coffee is more popular than ever among Americans. In fact, two-thirds of the country drink coffee every day. And for most people, the motivation to drink coffee is simple: they want to give themselves a bit more energy and wake up a bit quicker.
Because of this, many people stick to drinking coffee in the morning. However, an increasing number of people are drinking coffee for fitness, by timing their coffee consumption with various workouts.
Interested in maximizing your fitness routine through coffee? Keep reading to discover the exercise benefits of coffee!
Understanding How Caffeine Works
There are many different ingredients inside the average cup of coffee and these ingredients have their own range of benefits, including providing you with antioxidants. However, when it comes to coffee for fitness, the primary ingredient you need to understand is caffeine.
What happens when you consume caffeine? It travels through your body, affecting muscle cells, fat cells, your nervous system, and more.
Caffeine can take between 30 minutes to two hours to absorb into your bloodstream, depending on each individual.
Because the caffeine in coffee spreads throughout your body, it can have many different effects. Once you understand more about what these effects are and how they work, you may want to start drinking more coffee as part of your weekly workout schedule.
Coffee: So Effective it was Banned by the NCAA!
Below, we have plenty of information on the different fitness benefits of coffee. However, to better understand how effective coffee is when it comes to fitness, here's a wild fact: caffeine consumption among athletes is carefully monitored by the NCAA!
To keep athletic competitions fair, the NCAA monitors athletes for the use of stimulants. In certain amounts, caffeine is considered enough of a stimulant to give athletes an unfair advantage!
In this instance, athletes would need to drink enough caffeine (about 500mg) for it to show up on a drug test. That is equivalent to about five cups of coffee. However, given that athletes may consume energy drinks with up to three times the caffeine of coffee, it's easier to hit 500mg than you might imagine.
Here's the good news, though: you don't need to drink nearly that much caffeine to experience the fitness benefits of coffee. But, it can be more or less effective depending on when and you consume it, so pay close attention to the guide below.
Whose Fitness Benefits the Most From Coffee?
Depending on when you drink your coffee, it's possible for everyone to experience the benefits. However, some people are likelier to see stronger benefits than others.
For example, one study found that caffeine is less effective for those who are just beginning to exercise. But that can be good news if you are getting more serious about fitness. The more you work out, the greater the benefits you may experience.
Furthermore, caffeine may offer greater benefits for some athletic activities compared to others. According to one study, consuming 1.8 milligrams of caffeine per pound of body weight helped cyclists overcome fatigue and continue their cycling longer than before.
In a different paper, researchers found combining 300 milligrams of caffeine with creatine did not boost the sprinting performance of the active males they were studying.
What this means is it's worth recognizing you may need to try different amounts of caffeine with certain physical activities to maximize your benefits.
Speaking of benefits, let's take a closer look at how coffee could supercharge your fitness goals!
Coffee For Fitness: Boosting Your Metabolic Rate
Pop quiz: what is your main goal when you work out? For many, it's about trying to shed extra pounds or improve muscle tone. If you're among those people - read on. Coffee and weight loss can work extremely well together.
Why is this? Coffee can help to boost your metabolic rate. By boosting your metabolism, coffee can help you lose weight quicker and more effectively.
Best of all, coffee can help increase your resting metabolic rate. This means that even when you aren't exercising, your body is metabolizing things more efficiently than before!
As long as you avoid, or at least limit, unhealthy additives like sugar and creamer, a standard cup of coffee contains very few calories. That means you don't have to worry about consuming too many extra calories if you want to add a cup to your day.
Building Strength and Endurance
Whether or not you're trying to lose weight, it's worth having another goal when working out: building up your strength and endurance. The more you exercise, the stronger your body gets. Over time, this helps you to exercise or perform other physical activities even longer.
So how does coffee help? When you consume caffeine, it releases adrenaline and dopamine into your body. Both help you with your workout, though they do so in different ways.
When your body gets a dose of adrenaline, it puts you into "fight or flight" mode. This helps redirect blood to parts of your body like your lungs and your heart. Your muscles get stronger when they get more blood flowing to them, so adrenaline via coffee can help build your endurance in a big way.
On top of this, the caffeine in coffee helps release dopamine, the hormone that makes you feel good. More dopamine in your body will help improve your mood and motor function.
Long story not very short? Caffeine makes you feel and perform better, giving you greater motivation when working out, and as you work out, the boost of adrenaline helps your body make the most of each exercise (which is doubly good because strength training may help you live longer).
What do you think your biggest obstacle is when you are working out? For most people, that obstacle is fatigue. No matter how physically fit you are, it's impossible to continue working out when you're out of energy.
The math on this one is simple: for more intense workouts, reduce your fatigue. And the key to fighting fatigue may just be another cup of coffee!
Caffeine helps keep your body from feeling fatigued, which is one of the reasons we consume it in the morning. After a bit of caffeine, we feel more awake and alert. And you may get even more impressive effects by drinking coffee ahead of a workout.
One 2017 study set out to determine how caffeine affects fatigue. It found that caffeine improved time to exhaustion by up to 12%, meaning it took longer for participants to feel tired while working out.
Still on the fence about the fitness benefits of coffee? Just think about what you could do by working out 12% longer each time you hit the gym!
The Key to Better Aerobic Endurance
Previously, we touched on how caffeine can give your muscles more strength and endurance when you work out. But caffeine also helps improve another kind of endurance: aerobic endurance.
Oxygen plays a major role in your workouts. Notice how you breathe harder when you work out? That's because your body is working hard to provide added energy for your added efforts. Your muscles need the added oxygen, but your aerobic endurance will eventually reach its limits.
Once again, the math is quite simple. If you want longer, stronger workouts, then you need to focus on aerobic endurance. Of course, this can be built up with regular and increasingly stringent workouts. However, the secret ingredient to even better results is... you guessed it, coffee!
According to this study, undergoing acute caffeine intake helps oxygen saturate your muscles. This allows you to exercise for longer periods of time than you would otherwise be able to.
Burning Fat More Efficiently
Before, we noted how coffee can help you lose weight by improving your metabolic rate. But it can also help you shed pounds in a different way: by improving how efficiently you burn fat.
Your body burns fat as a way of providing you with more energy. When fat tissues break down, it releases fatty acids into your body.
These acids play a major role in giving your body the energy it needs, which is why when we exercise, we lose fat and often weight.
Consuming coffee 30 minutes or more before you work out can help increase the efficiency with which your body distributes energy, so you burn more fat when you work out!
Improved Cognitive Performance
We don't always associate better cognitive performance with better athletic performance. After all, how can improving the function of your brain improve the function of your body? Let's find out!
Better cognitive performance means that you're generally more alert. You will be able to better focus on both your overall fitness goals and how you achieve them.
And remember when we noted that coffee may have more intense fitness benefits for more intense athletes? In many cases, having better cognitive performance is what separates high-intensity athletes from the rest!
Coffee can help you achieve your cognitive goals. One study discovered that drinking more caffeine helps people improve their reaction times, memory, spatial reasoning, and more. By drinking coffee ahead of a workout, you can align both your mind and body to the goals of your weekly workout schedule.
The Science Behind Coffee's Fitness Benefits
Still unsure about coffee for fitness? We can hardly blame you. It's tough to imagine that the tasty beverage you brew in the morning can have such an impact on your fitness performance.
That's why we decided to take a closer look at the science behind these different benefits. It's important to separate wild claims from those backed up by rigorous scientific study.
How does coffee improve your energy levels? What are the other ways it enhances your performance, and why is thermogenesis at the heart of coffee helping you lose weight? Keep reading as we explore these complex topics through the lens of scientific study!
Coffee and Energy
The cornerstone of coffee helping with fitness is that it provides us with more energy. It's why we drink a cup in the morning to wake up and sometimes later to help with the afternoon slump. But what do studies show us about the relationship between coffee and energy levels?
One study was split evenly between men and women, and their collective mean age was 21 years old. The study examined what happened to participants who consumed breakfast cereal and those who consumed coffee before they took a series of tests.
Unsurprisingly, consuming breakfast before taking tests helped improve both mood and performance. This is why your old teachers encouraged everyone to eat a good breakfast in the morning before a big test!
What about coffee, though? The study found that those who drank coffee were able to better encode new information as they took each test. This showcases how the caffeine in coffee helps us to improve our cognitive performance.
And, as we noted before, those who consumed coffee before the tests were able to better fight off fatigue. Whether you're hitting the gym or just hitting the books, consuming coffee ahead of time can help your body and mind overcome the challenges you're about to face!
The Power of Thermogenesis
Understanding the different fitness benefits of coffee sometimes means brushing up on your memories from science class. For example, a major part of how and why coffee is so beneficial is thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is a fancy word referring to the production of heat. The better your thermogenesis, the better your metabolism. In other words, "burning fat" is a very literal phrase!
The effects of coffee on thermogenesis are well-known. However, a study from a few years ago discovered something interesting. Drinking caffeine helps burn fat even when you aren't performing much physical activity.
This is known as NEAT: non-exercise activity thermogenesis. The findings are significant because regular caffeine consumption can help you burn more fat no matter what you are doing (or, in this case, not doing).
If you are trying to lose weight, you should still exercise. But by getting more caffeine into your system, you can help your body more efficiently burn fat before, during, and after any exercise you may engage in. By boosting your NEAT, coffee can help you to naturally boost your weight loss.
Benefits of Coffee: How to Make the Most of Them
Now you know a bit more about the different fitness benefits of coffee. But do you know how you can make the most of them?
First, unless you are trying to burn money as well as fat, we recommend brewing your own coffee at home. It may be tempting to buy a coffee on your way to work or when you are out at lunch. However, the cost of these coffees really adds up, especially if you are increasing how much you drink.
Second, if you are consuming more coffee to experience the health benefits, we recommend you get into a routine. For example, drinking a certain amount of coffee for breakfast at the same time each day. And if you plan to drink coffee at lunch, you should strive to drink it at the same time each day.
Why is the routine so important? It helps you to control how much coffee you drink, allowing you to maximize the health benefits without drinking too late in the day and having trouble sleeping. Plus, having a regular routine can make you more productive, which is helpful for everything from improving your performance at work to finding the motivation to hit the gym.
Speaking of routines, don't forget to eat breakfast with your morning coffee. As the earlier study proved, both drinking coffee and eating a meal helped improve performance across a variety of tests.
By eating a good meal along with your morning cup of coffee, you can experience both sets of benefits. And if you're in a hurry, you can always grab a superfood bar on your way out the door!
Making Your Coffee Healthier With the Right Supplements
If you're reading this, then you're interested in unlocking more of the health benefits of coffee. And while coffee has plenty of natural benefits on its own, you can experience even more benefits by adding the right kind of supplements.
For example, countless people across the world add turmeric to their coffee each day. This turmeric can help reduce inflammation in your body and stimulate brain health. As a nice bonus, you won't believe how good the right spiced turmeric latte tastes!
Adding ginger to your coffee is another taste supplement idea. Like turmeric, ginger can help you fight off inflammation. It also helps to reduce muscle pain, and that's good news for anyone wanting to work out longer than before.
Over the years, many have discovered the simple joys of adding cacao powder to their coffee. This powder gives your coffee the pleasant taste of chocolate without starkly increasing calories or sugar. And in addition to making coffee tastier, cacao can help you fight inflammation and improve cognitive function (which, as we discussed before, is important for anyone who works out).
While these natural supplements are great, ask yourself: what if you could add many awesome supplements to your coffee in only one step? That's what happens when you add The Good Stuff to your coffee. This single supplement combines MCT oil powder, ceylon cinnamon, collagen, L-theanine, and Himalayan pink salt to your daily diet to help combat inflammation and promote focus and energy.
At the end of the day, better fitness is about leading a more efficient life. By making each cup of coffee healthier than it was before, you can become more efficient in your own fitness and weight-loss goals.
Are There Any Side Effects to Caffeine Consumption?
There may be certain side effects to caffeine consumption. However, consuming coffee in moderation can help you to mitigate or outright avoid most of these side effects.
For example, some worry about coffee making them unable to get much sleep at night. But this is caused by drinking coffee too late in the day. As long as you set a schedule (allowing for at least eight caffeine-free hours directly before you go to sleep), you can avoid this problem.
Other side effects include anxiety, increased heart rate, and stomach discomfort. However, these are usually caused by drinking too much coffee at one time. If you control how much you drink and when you drink, you can typically avoid these issues altogether.
Better Benefits Through Better Coffee
We touched on some of the best supplements you can add to make your coffee healthier. However, if you're serious about fitness, it's important to start with the right blend of coffee.
Plus, this coffee is available in whole beans, grounds and Keurig compatible cups. No matter how you brew your coffee, you can experience the benefits of this tasty blend!
Get the Best Coffee Today!
Those are the key points you need to know about coffee for fitness. However, it's an open secret that fitness is more of a journey than a destination. To make the most of it, you need to have someone help you every step of the way.
That's where we come in. At For Wellness, we specialize in making your coffee healthier. If you want to discover how we can help with your own fitness goals, just contact us today!