Coffee is of course a popular drink worldwide for people looking for that little caffeine kick to get them started in the morning. Caffeine has long been recognized as an ergogenic aid that can boost performance. So, should you have a pre workout coffee? Here are four reasons why you should enjoy a coffee or two before hitting the gym to tackle your next workout.
Attack the Fat
The caffeine in your pre-workout coffee will boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. Combine this with workouts that kick up your metabolism even more and you’ve got an effective fat burning regimen (source). A few cups of coffee doesn’t give you a license to eat extra calories, but if you stay disciplined it will help you burn some additional calories and trim off some unwanted inches.
Better Focus Through Caffeine
The amount of caffeine in a cup or two of coffee is enough to sharpen mental focus which allows you to concentrate harder and longer on your exercises. However, you should avoid the “more is better” philosophy embraced by many gym rats. Too much caffeine will make you jittery and unfocused – the opposite of what you want for a great workout. From personal experience I’ve found that two cups of coffee gives me a boost, but more is counter productive for my workouts.
With a Side of Analgesic
Caffeine is an analgesic aid and one of its qualities is to decrease your sensitivity to the discomfort associated with physical activities such as training with intensity.
“An analgesic or painkiller is any member of the group of drugs used to achieve analgesia, relief from pain. Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems.”
Caffeine’s analgesic properties are relatively small, but a pre-workout coffee can help you crank out a few more reps or another mile. Be aware that no amount of caffeine will protect you from injuries so be smart! At the first sign of pain stop what you’re doing.
Sip Your Antioxidants
While coffee may not always be viewed as a “health food”, it does have healthy qualities and one of these is as a source of antioxidants. Coffee’s ability to fend off free radicals that can damage your cells is another example of your pre-workout coffee as an ergogenic aid. I drink coffee black, but if you’re going to add flavors use try to stick to natural additives verses artificial creamers and sugars. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee and another one as you prepare to have a great workout!