Photo Credit: zastavki.com
Do you start your day with a cup of JAVA?
Did you know that the Olympics committee had caffeine on their list of banned substances and that once an athlete had a blood level equivalent to 8 cups of coffee and he was banned from competing? Caffeine is no longer banned, but they currently reserve the right to re-ban if they feel that competitors are abusing caffeine products, such as coffee.
Caffeine is a stimulant.
• It increases your heart rate
• Improves your blood flow from your heart to the rest of your body
• It gives you energy
• It causes a rush of glycogen and oxygen to your muscles, giving you that adrenaline push you may need to get those last few reps done.
Caffeine has been known to help two kinds of exercise:
• endurance activities, like a marathon, and
• short power sessions that last about 4-8 minutes
Is coffee your vice? If so, you don’t have to give it up!
It is actually considered a superfood.
1. Caffeine Improves Circulation. As mentioned before, caffeinated coffee can increase your blood flow by 30%. It helps improve circulation and helps improve your workout. That means more oxygen to your muscles.
2. Reduction of Lactic Acid. Lactic acid builds up when glycogen is depleted. Caffeine helps the endurance of glycogen, which means it delays the onset of muscle fatigue. It does this by using your own fat reserves as energy, instead reducing the glycogen burn rate.
3. Caffeine Reduces Muscle Pain. Caffeine consumed during exercise aids in the release of pain-educing endorphins, and helps with muscle fatigue.
Keep these tips in mind:
1. Don’t Overdo It. The recommended dose of caffeine for athletes is about 16 ounces per day for a 150 lb woman.
2. Incorporate Caffeine In Healthy Ways. Try using almond milk and cinnamon in your coffee, or add coffee or tea into your protein shakes.
3. Be Consistent With Your Daily Dose. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, so don’t reach for two cups one day, and 4 the next. You may end up spending more time in the bathroom and less time in the gym.
4. ALWAYS Continue Drinking Your Water as your #1 choice of fluid throughout the day.
5. Try Not To Drink Caffeine At Least Six Hours Before Bedtime, as to minimize interference with sleep.
All of this is great news, but don’t get carried away. Your good intentions may backfire. Anything in excess is overkill and will reduce the effects of the caffeine. Your body will treat the caffeine as any other drug, so over time, the positive effects will decrease.
Studies have shown that if you drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverage, about an hour before you workout, will have optimum results!
I’ll meet you at the nearest coffee shop!