Five Reasons Why Coffee Boosts Sports Performance
Author: Rob Date Posted:9 February 2015
The benefits of coffee for mental performance are obvious and have been proven by science.
As if that shouldn't be enough for you to make a nice strong espresso in your espresso machine every morning before work, you now have an excuse to enjoy coffee before you work out, too. Here are five reasons why coffee boosts sports performance.
One: Coffee helps improve workout performance
Drinking coffee before a workout has a number of psychological and physical benefits:
- It increases stimulants like epinephrine and norepinephrine to motivate you.
- Coffee frees up fatty acids. As a result, you burn more fat.
- It releases calcium stored in muscles. This gives you increased endurance.
- Coffee contains a natural pain reducer. This helps athletes work out longer.
Two: Coffee improves endurance
Studies have shown that coffee greatly improves endurance in any endurance sports activity such as running and cycling. In one study with elite runners, those who drank caffeinated coffee were 4.5 seconds faster over 1500 metres as compared with those who drank a placebo.
Three: Coffee overcomes sluggishness
Athletes have good days and bad days like everyone else. Sometimes they don't get enough sleep or just don't feel motivated. Coffee has been proven to help overcome sluggishness in a number of ways. In one study, athletes who were given caffeine before weight training self-selected higher weight loads than those who were not given the caffeine. In another study, those who were given caffeine improved their performance by 3 to 6 percent compared to those who were given a placebo.
Four: Coffee reduces muscle soreness and hastens recovery
In one study, female athletes were given caffeine in doses equivalent to about 2 and a half cups of coffee at 24 and 48 hour intervals and others were given a placebo. Those who received the caffeine experienced 26 to 48 percent less muscle pain than those who were given the placebo. Recovery to maximal strength was faster as well.
This and other studies show that caffeine's effect is substantial. For example, in another study, athletes were given time trials to the point of exhaustion. Those who were given caffeine showed 152 percent better performance in a second trial four hours later.
Five: Coffee helps improve body composition
Coffee helps improve body composition in two ways:
- It increases your metabolism. In turn, you burn 3 to 5 percent more fat.
- Because it aids in recovery, improves performance and helps motivate you to try harder, you tend to work out more often and at a greater level of intensity.
Coffee contains high levels of antioxidants that are not found in caffeinated energy drinks. This makes it the preferred "energy drink" for athletes. With coffee, there is no danger of decreased insulin sensitivity as there is in energy drinks.
And you thought your espresso machine was only good for making delicious Lavazza coffee. Now you know that your coffee machine and Blue Pod coffee pods can help make you a star athlete, too. They may not do all the work for you, but they’ll certainly help.