Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee to kick start the day, or before a morning run, or after? For many, the day hasn’t officially started before we’ve had our first cup – and some of us are downright scary if we don’t get that coffee kick!
Well, it just might be that the caffeine jolt isn’t the only thing that your cup of joe is affecting. As it turns out, coffee may just be able to boost your workouts as well as your energy. Here are some of the ways it could improve your next session.
1. It makes your workouts feel easier
What you perceive is what you believe, right? Well, by that rule, if your workout feels easier, you are more likely to see it through longer and power through it. Research indicates that people who drink about two cups of coffee around an hour before a particularly strenuous workout report feeling less muscle soreness after the session. That may have something to do with a separate study in which participants who previously were not coffee drinkers were found to have an increase in blood flow, which might explain the reported reduction in muscle soreness.
2. It may improve your endurance
According to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, coffee + carbs could help you go further. The study reported that consuming caffeine together with carbs resulted in a 66% increase in muscle glycogen four hours after intense, glycogen-depleting exercise. What that translates into is that your energy reserves will be depleted slower. Caffeine also makes your muscles release more calcium, making your muscles contract with added force — possibly giving you an edge in the long run.
3. It sharpens your focus
Caffeine is a full-body stimulant which causes you to feel more awake, making you alert, focused and with a faster response time. Simply put, when you focus on your workout, you are able to do it better.
The takeaway from all of this? If you like your coffee, you can take comfort in that in moderation, it can help you get a boost when you need it. Just don’t overdo it – or you’ll be risking some unwanted side effects, including sleep disturbances and stomach issues. As with any dietary advice or change in your habits, listen to your body, do it in moderation and consult your doctor before making any major changes in your dietary staples.
What’s your favorite way to get your caffeine boost? Let us know in the comments!
Free your endorphins!
The Endomondo Team