I was recently reading a blog post about some fitness experts’ top pre-workout tips. Five out of six said coffee. Apparently, drinking coffee right before a workout is really good for your performance because it not only gives you a caffeine boost but also helps your body too.
So as I sit here sipping a pre-run coffee, I was wondering how coffee really does this magic. In short, turns out there are a bunch of advantages to drinking coffee before a gym sesh:
+ makes your workout more enjoyable
+ caffeine boost
+ shown to help you burn more calories
+ helps circulation
+ make you burn more fat
Basically, the reason why coffee really helps you during a workout is that it affects the competency of your blood vessels, letting them carry more oxygen. And if you recall some high school biology class (if the B-word makes you cringe, you can skip this next part): muscles need oxygen to well, do their muscley thing.
Muscles are made up of fibres made of fibres made of fibres, alllll the way down to myofibrils. These tiny filaments are where ATP (basically stored energy) is broken down, resulting in a little burst that causes the myofibril, and in turn the muscle, to contract. This is what happens when you move a muscles basically. Caffeine is thought to make these bursts more powerful by aiding the ATP breakdown.
Caffeine also forces your body to start using fat as energy rather than your muscle’s usual fuel: glycogen. Studies showed that caffeine users had almost 50% more glycogen left during than workouts than un-caffeinated people (those poor souls…).
Thirdly (and lastly), caffeine has been shown to stiffen the aorta and blood vessels’ walls.This causes you to take in more oxygen which sequentially means more oxygen is put in your blood, also helping the whole fat breakdown thing happen (and also increasing blood flow to your kidneys… which is why you have to pee more).
* Note: I’m by no means a biology student or scientist; this is all dramatically simplified and thanks to my understanding of some literature on Google ad Youtube. God bless the internet. *
Bonus fun fact: Coffee doesn’t actually dehydrate you. This myth is only somewhat true because coffee is a diuretic. It’s not that the coffee is sponging up your body’s hydration, it’s just that coffee makes you pee more out (sorry if that’s a bit crude haha).
So alllllllll this being said: coffee is awesome for not only writing essays into the wee hours of the morning but also for working out! I totally recommend trying this for yourself. I really do feel a difference if I hit the roads after a mug or two of coffee (or four cups of black tea).
Are you going to try this? Have you tried it?