Coffee Improves Workout Performance – Myth Busted!
Do you drink a cup of Joe before exercising because you heard it increases exercise efficiency? Keep reading to discover if your pre-workout coffee may actually be harming your efforts…
G Force fitness trainers aren’t your typical “gym” trainers – we use a different approach to our workouts that focuses on all aspects of fitness rather than just lifting weights. Nutrition plays a big part of your body’s response to exercise and so if a client brings a coffee to their workout, we recommend they don’t drink it.
Your Body on Caffeine (& Exercise Requirements)
Caffeine restricts oxygen to the heart and is a known diuretic. It also interferes with the body’s natural production of cortisol. All of which leads us to our opinion that coffee harms workout efforts. Let`s explain a little further…
Blood Flow & Oxygen
Studies have shown that during physical exercise, our body requires increased myocardial blood flow – the flow of blood or circulation in the muscle tissue of the heart. Certain factors affect this blood flow and change in oxygen demand is one of them. The heart myocardium needs a great amount of oxygen to work in order to match the work of the increased myocardial blood flow in a workout session.
Caffeine is known to reduce this blood flow, therefore affecting the oxygen intake that is needed for quality athletic or physical performance.
Coffee may be great when you are running low on energy and you`re looking for a sudden boost but you should know that there are certain times of day where coffee doesn’t work. When your body releases cortisol (commonly referred to as “the stress hormone”), coffee isn’t needed. It just interferes with your bodies natural production of cortisol.
That stress hormone is enough to get you going, in fact, cortisol rises during exercise and continues to rise throughout your workout. Levels of cortisol are highest in the mornings, hence, it would be a great choice to workout without consuming any caffeine prior to, especially early in the mornings and just let your body work naturally.
If you absolutely need to resort to coffee as a stimulant to maximize your performance due to fatigue or lack of focus, make sure it’s at a time where your body will successfully utilize the coffee, when cortisol levels are lower. And make sure it’s black! Refrain from sugars, milks or creams.
Finally, coffee is also a diuretic which means that it dehydrates you. If you dehydrate yourself during a workout you won’t produce enough aerobic endurance or strength to perform at optimal levels.
Oxygen equals strength. Strength comes from muscles. Muscles need oxygen. That’s why you drink water (H2O) because you get oxygen through water. This in turn WILL give you better results because now you have the oxygen intake your body needs.
Instead of using coffee for a boost, we recommend to simply start moving, get your blood flowing and the rest will fall into place. Otherwise, coffee before a workout may actually hinder your results due to a lack of oxygen when it’s needed at high levels, interference of a natural stress hormone produced in the body and dehydration.
To have a quality workout, we suggest getting an adequate amount of rest, eating right throughout the day and staying hydrated as much as you can. If you like health, fitness and nutrition tips like these, keeping reading the blog and for a more personal touch, hire a personal trainer!