Instead of spending money on an expensive pre-workout supplement that may or may not have questionable ingredients, turn to something you probably already have in your pantry: coffee.
That’s right —is the main ingredient in most pre-workout supplements and you don’t need neon colored powders to consume it. A strong cup of coffee can do just fine.
Why you should drink coffee before exercising
If you need an extra head start to increase motivation for your workout, but feel wary of pre-workout supplements, coffee can help. Caffeine has long been studied for its physiological effects, many of which positively impact exercise performance.
Coffee wakes you up: Decaffeinated coffee increases activity in your brain and nervous system. It makes you feel more awake and alert, making you feel more energized for your workout. Most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine and coffee is a suitable natural alternative.
Coffee keeps you focused: The energizing effects of coffee can also keep you focused during your workout, which is helpful for getting through the early morning groove or breaking an afternoon slump in energy. A cup of coffee before your workout can help you focus on your reps and sets. Some research even suggests that coffee can improve exercise endurance by making exercise more bearable.
Coffee improves athletic performance: Numerous studies show that caffeine improves athletic performance, especially during endurance and intense workouts. Just keep in mind that the doses used in clinical trials are often much higher than what the average person gets from a normal brewed cup of coffee. Most studies look at doses of 200 to 400 milligrams, but some use doses up to 600 milligrams. An average 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine.
Coffee can even reduce pain: Coffee is not a magical antidote to muscle pain, but research suggests that coffee can have a positive effect on both exercise and exercise pain.It is not clear whether the effect is physical or mental, but it is likely a combination of both: one study found that coffee consumption decreases and muscle pain during a workout.
Reasons to avoid coffee in preparation
Many people experience unpleasant side effects after drinking coffee. Due to its caffeine content, coffee can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Some people also find the mental stimulation overwhelming. Here are a few reasons why some people avoid coffee as a preparation.
It can give you the shakes: Coffee can make you jittery and shaky, especially if you are not used to the effects of caffeine or if you drink more than usual. If you feel shaky during your workout, you can feel weaker and, in the worst case, even cause you to drop weights and injure yourself or others. Keep this in mind if you tend to get nervous after drinking coffee.
It can make you anxious: Besides physical jitters, coffee is known to make people anxious. This probably has something to do with the increase in heart rate. If you’re already experiencing anxiety, coffee (or any other caffeinated beverage) may not be the best choice for your pre-workout.
It messes with your digestion: Coffee poop. It’s one thing. Coffee is thought to stimulate peristalsis, the series of contractions your digestive tract makes to move things forward. Exercise also stimulates the digestive tract, so the combination can lead you to go to the bathroom.
How to use coffee as a supplement for training
To get the best results from a cup of pre-workout coffee, drink it 30 to 60 minutes before your workout. It takes about that long for the peak effects of caffeine to kick in, and if you’re in this to avoid hitting a wall during your workout, you want the biggest impact to occur as soon as you start. If you tend to slump midway through your workout, try drinking coffee 10 minutes earlier so that the peak effects occur within about 20 to 40 minutes of your workout.
In case you try to quit drinking coffee,
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.