Coffee has been there during the best of times and the worst of times. Whether it was catching up with a good friend at a cafe or staying up all night finishing a deadline. We all know coffee increases mental alertness and that in itself is magical. Side note, it does this by blocking adenosine which is a neurotransmitter that slows down neural activity and promotes sleep. But did you know coffee also helps with your gym performance?
COFFEE INDUCED CALCIUM CA2+ RELEASE
Caffeine seems to increase your muscle’s force production which is very beneficial to your gym performance! This is very important because if more muscle fibers are firing simultaneously on a regular basis then you will be able to lift more weight , build more lean muscle mass, and progress quicker. How does this happen exactly? Well, it’s hypothesized that caffeine causes a greater calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (membrane bound structure found in the muscle) which leads to an enhanced excitation contraction coupling. The increase in the excitation contraction coupling essentially means your muscles generate greater force and power production. More force and power means more weight is being pushed which leads to greater hypertrophy (lean muscle mass) down the road.
It also seems to improve aerobic endurance because of the increased muscle force and power production mentioned above. It’s also believed that coffee helps with aerobic endurance because of an increase in fat utilization (fat oxidization) in the body and therefore sparing your glycogen and glucose. Another study also found that it reduces DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which is the soreness you feel 1 or 2 days after your workout. The sample size was small in this study so this finding is still a toss up. In conclusion coffee does everything.
COFFEE’S OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Coffee increases antioxidants in the blood, which is referred to as “plasma antioxidant capacity”. It has also been shown to have more total antioxidant activity than cocoa, green tea, black tea, or herbal tea. Chlorogenic acid and cafeic acid are the two strong antioxidants responsible for coffee’s health benefits. These antioxidants may contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
And it’s also great for postmenopausal women. A study that consisted of 41,836 post menopausal women concluded that the antioxidants in the coffee may inhibit inflammation which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases. So enjoy your coffee and expect the future you to thank you.
COFFEE OR PRE WORKOUT?
Keep it simple and save your money. Pre workouts tend to have other questionable ingredients plus a very high dosage of caffeine that you may not be able to handle. Just get some sleep, eat well, and have a cup of coffee! From a fat loss perspective, it’s best to reduce or get rid of the sugar and sweeteners in your coffee.
CONCLUSION: SHOULD YOU DRINK COFFEE?
Well, yeah. In all seriousness, though, It really depends on how you tolerate caffeine. If you drink coffee and feel like you’re on the verge of death due to anxiety then you might want to start by drinking smaller amounts. Truthfully, I only started drinking coffee 4 years ago and one cup was more than enough to keep me running around all day. I slowly built up my tolerance and now drink 2-3 cups a day, and can’t see my life without coffee.
If you have any underlying cardiac issues or your body doesn’t react well to coffee or stimulants then maybe coffee isn’t for you, especially before a workout. There is always tea and decaf which has many health benefits as well. Listen to your body and find what works best for you! Now excuse me while I have another cup of coffee and watch Mila speak the truth about coffee:
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