After a cup of coffee, you feel more efficient, less sleepy, and emotionally uplifted. These properties are highly appreciated by people engaged in intellectual work.
But what about physical activity, in particular sporting activities? Can I drink coffee before a workout at the gym or after a fitness session? Professional athletes get advice from their personal trainers. Everyone else can heed the general recommendations, which will allow you to train with maximum benefit, without giving up your favorite beverage.
Coffee before training
Coffee is a powerful natural stimulant because it affects the entire body. In moderate doses (4-5 cups a day), this drink is only good for a healthy person, including an athlete.
The consumption of coffee before a workout will allow you to spend it more intensely, the main thing is to know how much time to drink the “natural doping”. Sports nutritionists say that for maximum effect it should be done about 30-40 minutes. Caffeine has time to act, motivation arises, and all processes are accelerated.
The natural stimulant can be used in a variety of sports, with the most common uses being in running, weightlifting, and bodybuilding.
The effect of coffee on physical condition
The effect of just one cup of natural coffee drunk before a run or a workout at the gym is multifaceted.
- It releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. It lowers the pain threshold, so the training can be more intense: a higher pace, more weight. Weightlifters and wrestlers will appreciate it. Endurance also increases: drinking coffee before a run allows you to run a longer distance without interruption. The recovery period after such high loads is painless: muscle glycogen re-synthesis is faster.
- The work of the heart is accelerated. As a result, breathing is not disrupted, and more oxygen is supplied to all cells. Muscles are ready for more intensive work.
- Cheerfulness. Sometimes a person needs a dope before doing sports to cheer up. Coffee perfectly copes with this task: a burst of energy and a good mood are a good basis for a good workout.
- Fat burning. Many people go to the gym and run in the park to get rid of excess weight. Espresso will not replace regular physical activity, but it can contribute to weight loss. After all, caffeine addicts have a faster metabolism, and the fat layer disappears faster. Keep in mind that this is a natural black coffee without sugar and has practically zero calories. And nutritious lattes and cappuccinos will definitely not help in the fight against pounds.
- It improves your reactions. The central nervous system is stimulated, the speed of the passage of nerve impulses increases. The positive effect will be noticeable in those sports where decisions must be taken instantly: tennis, soccer, cycling.
Drink or pill
Manufacturers of sports nutrition and dietary supplements have even developed special coffee products. They are useful due to the combination of natural grains, nutrient oils, essential vitamins and biologically active ingredients.
Caffeine in a drink and in its medicinal form has the same effect. Each remedy has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Tablet form allows you to accurately calculate the dosage and change it depending on how you feel, finding the golden mean just for yourself. But there is only caffeine, without the micronutrients inherent in the grain product. And you can’t get any pleasure from taking it.
People who like the taste and aroma of espresso drinks before doing sports and those who simply want to combine business with pleasure. In addition, with coffee we get B vitamins, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium and other useful substances.
The downside is that it is difficult to determine the exact amount of caffeine in a serving: it depends on the variety and method of preparation. A cup of coffee, which contains 100-200 mg of caffeine, is usually enough for a person weighing 70 kg. If your weight is significantly higher or lower, you need to adjust the dose.
Coffee after a workout
Okay, with physical activity we have solved, but is it possible to drink coffee after training at the gym? Here everything is not so unambiguous. Trying to cheer up after physical activity with a cup of espresso, we do our body a disservice.
There are already high levels of adrenaline in the blood, and the heart beats more frequently. Caffeine excites the nervous system as much as it excites the muscles. The best thing for recovery is rest and sleep. But if your workout took place in the afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee afterwards means depriving yourself of a good night’s sleep.
Even if you work out in the morning, you still shouldn’t rush to “cheer up” with caffeine. How long should you drink coffee after your workout to avoid harming your health? In half an hour at least, it will not hurt a small cup of a weak coffee drink such as Americano combined with fast carbohydrates. This will help you recover and “make it” to the evening. It is necessary to take care about drinking, because coffee will only aggravate dehydration after the workout.
Restrictions and contraindications
It is not advisable to start exercising immediately after drinking espresso: caffeine has not yet been absorbed and will not be useful. But it may be harmful because it causes heartburn during physical activity.
Caffeine has a diuretic effect, which can be dangerous at heavy loads, because the body has already lost a lot of fluid. To avoid dehydration, you should stock up on clean drinking water.
Coffee is contraindicated for skiers, mountaineers and snowboarders. Ascending to heights the heart is under increased strain, and additional stimulation will only cause harm.
This is important: When you should not drink coffee. If a cup of coffee makes you feel worse during the workout, it is better to give up this drink. Signals for cancellation: dizziness, tremors, too fast heartbeat, weakness.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) bans caffeine, recognizing it as a doping agent. It is primarily a drug, but professional athletes are not allowed to drink coffee for clean samples.
It happens that a person does not get tired during exercise because of artificial stimulation and gives himself a load much higher than usual. When the caffeine leaves the body, there may be a feeling of brokenness. To avoid this happening, it is important to observe moderation.
Over time, if an effective and affordable remedy is abused, an addiction and insensitivity to small doses is formed. As a result, you won’t feel like running or lifting weights without a cup of espresso, and the portions get bigger and bigger. To avoid this, you can’t spike yourself with caffeine every day.
The instant product has no benefits, so it is not recommended for athletes.
No product is able to make a person stronger, faster and more enduring, if he himself does not make the effort. However, coffee, if consumed correctly, will make workouts more enjoyable and effective, so you should not give it up.