There are some days when I just can’t perform as well without having that extra boost of energy. I usually do my workout after 7 pm, so for me, coffee is useless at that hour. Of course, I do have days when I have to hit the gym in the morning and sometimes I do take a cup of coffee just to give me that extra energy.
Maybe it’s the coffee, maybe it’s me, but it can make a difference on how well I am performing during my workout. So, can caffeine help your workout? Let’s find out:
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in coffee or black tea. Coffee is a popular beverage consumed mostly in the morning to prevent drowsiness and improve performance at work, at school and even at the gym.
Caffeine will stimulate the central nervous system and will diminish drowsiness and fatigue. It can improve the reaction time and concentration. The effects happen after one hour from the consumption.
From a physical perspective, caffeine can improve athletic performance in anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Exercises such as running, cycling, sprint, endurance can also be enhanced by consuming a moderate amount of caffeine.
Is Caffeine Safe to Consume Before I Hit the Gym?
There have been tests among many gym goers and even researchers, and the answer is yes. But, respect your body first. After you wake up, don’t chug a cup of coffee first. You will be dehydrated, and the caffeine will attack your central nervous system that hasn’t snapped out from sleep.
Drink a cup of water first, then after a half, an hour or so drink your coffee. Remember that an hour will need to pass to feel the caffeine’s effect.
How Much Caffeine Should I Consume?
It mostly depends on how much you weigh, but as a rule of thumb, 100 milligrams should be a good starting point. Build your way up those milligrams slowly whenever you think you reached a level of tolerance. Of course, our genes can dictate how much we can tolerate coffee. Some have a low toleration level, others have a high one.
Don’t go over 400 milligrams or you will have health problems in no time. Treat coffee as a supplement and not as a necessity for your daily life and that’s how you will avoid having caffeine-related problems. At the end of the day, it’s still a psychoactive drug.
I Can’t Stand Coffee, Yet I Want to Boost My Performance?
You can try black tea or energy drinks that contain caffeine, just keep in mind that moderation is needed. Some people prefer soft drinks that contain caffeine, but I don’t recommend those because they contain a lot of sugar and may defeat the purpose of a workout.
Also, you can prepare a pre-workout drink if you have any supplements that go with coffee or shakes that contain caffeine.
Can Caffeine Help Me With My Heavy Lifting?
There is little information regarding how much can caffeine affect your strength or even if it has such an effect. Most people drink coffee for endurance and because it can reduce the muscle pain during an exercise. For strength, I would suggest looking more into your exercise routine, your food intake and supplements, if you need to.
What Can Happen If I Consume Caffeine After a Workout?
Drinking coffee or black tea after a workout can improve your metabolism and also it will enhance the fat burning process. Some recommend drinking green tea before working out to maximize this process.
What Other Benefits Can I Get From Consuming Caffeine?
Besides all the above, coffee can also improve your blood flow by 30%. With improved blood flow, you will have a boost in performance while working out. That doesn’t mean you will go from a ten-kilogram barbell to a barbell of twenty just by consuming a cup of coffee. You will endure more physical stress and squeeze more repetitions.
What Kind of Coffee Should I Be Aiming At?
I already stated that it’s best to avoid sugary drinks that contain caffeine. The same goes for coffee. Keep it simple and black. It’s better to brew your own coffee using a home coffee maker. Don’t go with the creamy stuff, and don’t exaggerate with the sugar amount. Just straight up black, and you will be good to go.
Are There Any Risks to Consuming too Much Caffeine?
As I said before, try not to exaggerate with your daily caffeine intake. It can cause insomnia, anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure, and palpitations. It can lead to heart attacks and strokes. So, not achieving that 120-kilogram deadlift will be the least of your worries if you don’t take care of your health.
If you are not sure, talk to a dietician or a trainer, and he/she will give you the right information for you.
So, as you can see, caffeine can help your workout. Just remember, no sugar and moderation is key.
Tell us: do you usually consume coffee before your workouts? Do you think that it help you with your exercises?
About The Author:
Dennies John is a self-made barista and founder of DrippedCoffee, a coffee blog dedicated to caffeine addicts. When he’s not experimenting with coffee, you can see him swimming or watching his favorite TV shows.