Coffee, when consumed in the right way, can in fact be used as a health and fitness enhancing tool.
If you're like many people, you may now start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee, when consumed in the right way, can in fact be used as a health and fitness enhancing tool. Here are five more reasons to enjoy it as part of an active lifestyle, along with five “rules” for getting your fix healthfully.
Improved micro-circulation. Improved blood circulation typically equates to improved oxygenation of your tissues, which may boost your exercise performance.
Pain reduction. A cup or two cups of coffee taken one hour prior to a half hour long workout reduced the participants' level of perceived muscle pain.
This pain reduction could allow you to push yourself just a bit harder, which is important during high intensity exercises.
Improved endurance. A 2005 meta-analysis concluded that caffeine can reduce your perceived level of exertion by more than five percent effectively making your exercise feel "easier."
Moreover, caffeine improved exercise performance by more than 11 percent, which appears to be related to the reduction in perceived level of exertion.
Muscle preservation. Coffee intake helped offset age-related loss of muscle strength, again suggesting that caffeine may help preserve your muscles as you age, and reduce your risk of injuries.
Improved memory. A research conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that 200 milligram (mg) of caffeine enhanced participants' memory for up to 24 hours.
But this news doesn’t mean you should down as much coffee as possible your good intentions may backfire. I recommend five basic rules to best reap caffeine’s rewards:
Don’t overdo it. The maximum amount of caffeine recommended for enhancing performance with minimal side effects is up to 6 mg per kg body weight, that I just two to three cups of coffee is enough.
Incorporate it in healthy ways: doctor up coffee with almond milk and cinnamon instead of cream and sugar, or whip coffee or tea into a fruit smoothie, along with other nutrient-rich ingredients like almond butter and oats or quinoa.
Be consistent with your intake. Research shows that when your caffeine intake is steady, your body adjusts, which counters dehydration, even though caffeine is a natural diuretic. In other words, don’t reach for two cups one day and four the next.
Keep drinking good old HO (water) your main beverage of choice.
Nix caffeine at least six hours before bed to prevent sleep interference, and listen to your body. If you’re relying on caffeine as an energy booster because you’re tired, get to the root of what’s causing fatigue. Perhaps it’s too little sleep, over exercising, or an inadequate diet. If something’s off kilter, you won’t see progress, and you’ll likely get weaker rather than stronger. Striving for balance is always key!