Most of you will know the feeling: It’s early morning, the alarm clock rings. Still half asleep you drag yourself through to the kitchen. First things first: COFFEE. For many of us, a coffee in the morning before anything else is a must. I’m not ashamed to inform you that I don’t leave the house before having one or taking one with me, and I know there are many who say the same thing. Coffee wakes us up and prevents tiredness. But what are the effects caffeine has on the body and training performance?
Well for starters, the heart and nervous system are stimulated by the stimulating effect of caffeine. In a bad mood? Rather than yell at your partner grab a long black instead. Caffeine is a real mood enhancer with a positive effect on the psyche and spirit. It increases attention, concentration and counteracts fatigue.
To a limited extent, it also improves memory span. As caffeine has such positive effects on your mental performance it fights against every energy slump.
Caffeine doesn’t just provide mental benefits, it’s also extremely beneficial for your body. Consuming caffeine in high doses increases the heartbeat, the heart beats faster and stronger – increasing heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, we feel fit and energetic. Now don’t act hasty and trade me in for a soy flat white, but caffeine can motivate you. It gets your circulation going and makes you more alert, attentive & energetic. It can boost your performance and give you the necessary energy kick you need at a crucial point of your workout. You know that point where there’s 10 seconds left on the timer and you just want to drop that kettlebell? Bingo!
However its all about getting the right amount for you and your body. If you consume caffeine too often, you won’t experience the positive effects. Why? Because your body gets used to the caffeine dose. When you consume caffeine in high doses it can also cause insomnia, nervousness and gastrointestinal complaints. Even a single cup of coffee can lead a person to experience an increase in their heart rate, while someone else might not feel any effect. The reaction of the body may vary and is different from person to person.
So your take away coffee message is NOT to go nuts and buzz out on 10 Cappucinno’s before lunch. Its all about BALANCE. Using a caffeine as your pre-workout fuel before an early morning workout can do wonders and help you get the most out of your session, just don’t use coffee as a crutch and consume more than 2 max per day. And always remember to re-hydrate with lots of H2O as caffeine acts as a diruetic so you must replace each cup of coffee with 2 cups of water.