Believe It Or Not, Drinking Coffee May Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
Coffee and sports do not seem to mix together quite well- most of us think that is true but is it really? If you are a fitness enthusiast who cannot forsake the love for a cup of coffee, we have good news for you- drinking coffee may help you achieve your fitness goals, so there is no need to give it up altogether!
Unlike unregulated supplements, coffee can actually be the stimulant that will enhance your athletic performance without any side effects that could endanger your health. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that will provide you with more energy and motivation during your workouts, but there is even more to it - so be sure to read on and find out!
Fitness Related Health Benefits of Coffee
Look no further, open your pantry, make yourself your favorite cup of coffee and read how good it can be for you and your fitness goals- it will taste even better once you realize its true value!
1. Coffee helps burn fat faster
We all know how many weight-loss products are there on the market and how expensive they can be, but to be honest, only few will have a true effect and help you achieve your ideal weight. Coffee is, on the other hand, quite inexpensive, and yet packed with natural caffeine that is known to improve our ability to burn fat during our workouts.
It is best to drink a cup of coffee (be sure to hold back the sugar and cream!) at least half an hour before your normal workout routine as it will help boost our energy levels just in time for exercise. Moreover, caffeine raises our heart rate and pressure, and brakes down the fat cells thus significantly improving our ability to shed the extra pounds.
2. Coffee suppresses the appetite
Once again, thanks to the caffeine, coffee makes us feel satiated, suppresses our appetite and allows us to become perfectly fit in less time and with less effort. The mechanism is quite simple- if we feel full, we consume fewer calories and lose weight more quickly.
3. Coffee enhances our metabolism
As already mentioned, caffeine is a stimulant which increases our heart rate and blood pressure- or, in short, speeds up our metabolism. By boosting our metabolic rate, caffeine actually helps our body create, and use or burn more energy in one day. This effect lasts for up to three hours after consuming coffee.
In this way, not only will you burn more fat during your workout, but also a few hours after it. As research states, it is best to drink a cup or two of coffee one hour before your workout. Do not think that drinking more than the recommended dose will help reach your goals faster- it will be counterproductive!
If you suffer from high blood pressure, heart diseases, or you are pregnant, or sensitive to caffeine, you must consult a doctor before you drink coffee.
4. Coffee improves our athletic performance
Numerous articles published in renowned sports magazines claim that drinking coffee in moderate doses can improve our athletic performance. It is generally stated that coffee enables us to train with superior power output and longer than we otherwise would (or could).
Caffeine helps us endure more, but also makes us feel less tired. Athletes who consume caffeine use their fat stores to fuel them throughout the long, exhausting workouts. Their body would otherwise use glycogen (sugar) from the muscles and use up the energy more quickly.
5. Coffee helps us feel more concentrated during workouts
Caffeine stimulates our central nervous system (CNS), or, to be precise, the parts of our brain which are responsible for our good memory and concentration. When we are concentrated on our workout, it becomes more productive, and thus the effects become better as well.
6. Coffee reduces exercise-induced muscle pain
A recent study at the University of Illinois showed that people who drink coffee prior to their workout, feel less muscle pain both during and after it. The related research also proved that drinking two cups of coffee prior to exercising, reduces the muscle tension and soreness by whopping 50 percent.
In this way, caffeine cuts the time needed to recover after training short, but also helps people last through intense workouts. So, if you have a tendency to give up in the middle of your training due to muscle pain or discomfort, coffee might be your solution to that problem!
7. Coffee is a powerful antioxidant
Coffee is packed with antioxidants which help our body fight off free radicals and reduce the risk of disease or even premature death. Antioxidants clean our blood and prevent diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, and certain cancers. Once again, it is important to stress that it is best to stay moderate and consume no more than two cups of coffee per day.
If you are not healthy, you cannot dedicate yourself to fitness, and so this is another way drinking coffee may help you achieve your fitness goals.
8. Coffee can help you stay motivated
Professor Samuele Marcora from the University of Kent claims that most people abandon their fitness goals within the first six months due to the lack of personal drive or motivation. He claims that caffeine can help people stick with their plans by reducing the feeling of effort needed to last through it.
In his words, our natural urge is to preserve as much energy as possible, and thus we avoid to exert effort and activities that might lead to discomfort- it is the so-called inherent laziness. Thus, we rather browse the internet or watch TV as that activities call for zero effort.
According to Marcora caffeine makes us perceive the effort needed to be less than it really is due to boosting our energy levels and keeping us awake. You can read more about this research in the journal Sports Medicine's January issue.