After a long day at work or running around with your kids, typically the last thing you want to do is workout. Pre-workouts have become exceptionally trendy within the fitness world due to the pump they give you to get up and head to the gym. Unfortunately, sometimes pre-workout can make you feel as though you’ve taken some radioactive super drug. Your skin can get itchy, you get jittery and shaky, and sometimes you think you’re a million times stronger than you actually are and end up hurting yourself… and no we aren’t speaking from experience… Anyway, one of the most effective pre-workouts is probably a surprise to some, and luckily most people already have it in their kitchen.
In the U.S., about 83% of adults drink coffee with an average of 3 cups a day. Coffee is not only the most natural way to get ready for the gym (assuming you’re not adding artificial sweeteners or processed milks) but has other physical and mental benefits that can help you power through your next workout. Let’s face it; nothing gives you a bigger kick to get going than a cup of coffee.
Caffeine pills and drinks are some of the most common supplements used by body builders and athletes. Studies have shown that caffeine not only can make you more alert and focused, but it can improve your mood, help burn fat and help you workout for a longer period of time.
Less Muscle Pain
High reps, low reps, high weight, low weight. No matter what your style of workout, researchers at the University of Illinois found that coffee can cause the body to feel less muscle pain not only during your workout but after as well. Consuming two cups of coffee up to an hour before training reduced muscle soreness by up to 48% compared aspirin that only produced a 25% decrease.
In a study done by The Journal of Pain, caffeine showed to reduce muscle pain during moderate to intense exercise. Some of the participants were given a placebo; others were given a large dose of caffeine prior to a cycling exercise. The caffeine group had far less muscle pain during exercise than the placebo group. To put it simply: drink your coffee, increase your endurance and strength. Is it that easy? We’d like to think so.
Burn More Fat
Most people workout to improve themselves. Whether it’s the emotional stress release or to improve their physique, working out and burning fat is typically a good thing. Coffee has a few different substances that can affect your metabolism. The first one is obvious. When consuming caffeine before your workout, it can cause the body to use fat cells as energy rather than glycogen. Along with that, the high amount of caffeine can increase your metabolism and suppress your appetite.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system which sends direct signals to fat cells, telling them to break down. It also has an effect on the hormone Epinephrine (aka Adrenaline). Epinephrine travels through the blood to the fat tissues and sends signals to break down fats and release them into the blood. This is how caffeine mobilizes fat from the tissues making it available as fatty acids in the blood.
Get Your Blood Flowing
Good blood flow is important for a number of reasons. It can improve your mental performance, stabilize your body temperature, transport nutrients to and from your cells, boost your metabolism and overall give you a better workout. Recent Japanese research studies have shown that those who consumed coffee experience a 30% increase in blood flow compared to non-coffee drinkers.
During exercise, increased blood flow means your muscles can perform at their optimum level which leads to a better workout. The best time to down your cup is about 20-30 minutes before you start to exercise.
But along with anything else, try not to overdo it. Coffee does have caffeine, duh that’s why we drink it. Too much caffeine can increase your heart rate a bit too much, make you jittery, and have negative effects on the body. Make sure you’re taking the recommended mg per day based on your tolerance and body type. Keep drinking water and be consistent with your intake. I guess what we’re trying to say is: please drink responsibly.
Author Biography: Edgar Den Uijl is a health enthusiast, marketing manager and a creative writer for FIT Roller. When he is not watching boxing or enjoy Soccer you can find him traveling and enjoying his leisure time relaxing.