Do you find you have a better, more energetic workout if you drink a coffee beforehand? I find that if I go running or head for a workout in the gym, it feels far easier to get my arms and legs going if I’ve had my daily latte or cappuccino first. But why?
Well it’s not rocket science that caffeine and sugar make us feel more alert and give us that temporary ‘high’, but are we right to rely on coffee to help us get fit?
Well, actually yes. Of course it’s vital to fuel your fitness levels with the right amount of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, and (especially) protein. But according to experts, it’s ok to have a moderate intake of coffee (no more than 250 mg or 12 ounces of coffee per day) to boost our athletic performance too.
If like me, you have one or two coffees a day (made using my limited Wimbledon edition Lavazza A Modo Mio of course) and regularly exercise, then you could get the following benefits in your fitness routine:
– Improved Edurance – great for marathon runners
– improved recovery after a long running session
– Increased fat burning during athletic performances like running, cycling and other sports
– Increased alertness and focus
– Generally benefiting from a more energetic and intense workout
But is it healthy?
Tim Allardyce, Sports Physiotherapist and Osteopath says ‘Caffeine in large doses (above 1000mg) can cause side effects, such as heart palpitations, sweating, withdrawal symptoms, anxiety sleep deprivation and a general reliance.
‘But coffee in low to moderate dosage appears to be safe for consumption and even offers physical and mental benefits.’
If you have a sweet tooth though, watch out.
‘Don’t drink your coffee with sugar,’ Tim says, ‘The sugar will cause your energy levels to spike too high and then drop off quickly. It’s far better to have it without’
Of course, it’s good to balance your coffee intake, and Tim recommends fruit teas, pomegranate juice for anti-oxidants and wheatgrass shakes for vital vitamins and a natural energy boost. And of course, a glass of fresh cold water beats everything, especially when you’re working out.
But if you thought you had to ditch your coffee to get fit, fear not! In preparation for my half marathon later this year I’ve kept up my Lavazza coffee before each workout and it seems to be working!
There are many professional athletes out there who drink coffee to boost their performance too.
Next time I’m running in the park you won’t see me for dust!
Until next time x
For information on Tim Allardyce, go to www.rehabmypatient.com