“Put down that cup of coffee,” you’ve been told for a long time. Coffee, it seems, is an addiction to half of your friends and co-workers. It’s a harmful addiction, you’ve been told.
The scientific evidence, in fact, did show that coffee wasn’t particularly good for your health. Today, though, science is telling people a different story — coffee is good for your health.
“Research suggesting that there may be some potential health benefits to coffee is growing,” reports a March 6, 2015, article in The Boston Globe entitled“Coffee may lower some disease risks.” “One recent study found that those who sipped several cups every day had a decreased risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Another, published on Monday in the journal Heart, found that consuming three to five cups a day was associated with less calcium buildup in the arteries.”
How Can Coffee Help You Exercise More Efficiently?
The article cautions readers that medical studies have not yet proven that coffee is a “health food,” but Harvard School of Public Health professor Frank Hu told The Boston Globe that there is “moderate evidence” that drinking coffee regularly can reduce drinkers’ risks of getting heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Positive reports about the effect of coffee began appearing about 10 years ago. This 2006 article shows that Harvard Medical School researchers were surprised as they learned that coffee could actually be good for you.
Prior to the recent research, health experts warned coffee drinkers that unfiltered coffee increased their risks of heart disease because it raised blood cholesterol levels. The researchers blamed cafestol, which is a chemical in coffee. “Cafestol is the strongest cholesterol-increasing chemical present in the diet of humans,” reported the article “High Cholesterol & Coffee.” In addition, caffeine causes anxiety problems, researchers reported.
Today, though, coffee is regarded as an antioxidant that can prevent disease. Do you know what else is regarded as an antioxidant? Fruits. And vegetables. And vitamins. Coffee also reduces high blood pressure and diabetes risks, reports“Don’t Blame the Bean.” It also helps your memory.
The most recent positive medical study about coffee came from South Korea. A study of more than 25,000 female and male employees concluded that people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day were less apt to have early signs of heart disease than people who drank fewer than three cups — or more than six cups. The employees who drank a moderate amount of coffee were less likely to have calcium in their heart arteries than others, reported this article.
So now you know coffee has long-term benefits. ‘But what’s the short-term impact?’ you might be thinking. ‘How will it impact my exercise program?’ Believe it or not, there have been studies on this too. A 2014 Daily Mail article reports that “two mugs of coffee one hour prior to exercise improves your workout by a THIRD.” The article warns that drinking too much coffee can have a negative effect, but a trainer who talked to the Daily Mail recommends drinking about four cups of coffee per day.
“Studies have shown how caffeine improves endurance and performance in cycling high intensity running, repeated sprinting and sports such as football and rugby,” the article reports.
Caffeine also spurs weight loss, according to“5 Reasons to Drink Coffee Before Your Workout.” A 150-pound woman who drinks 12 ounces of brewed coffee before exercising should burn about 15 percent more calories than a non-drinker for roughly three hours after her exercise is over, the article reports.
Here are some reasons to drink coffee before your workout include:
- Coffee reduces muscle pain. This enables people to exercise harder and, thus, increase their muscle strength.
- Coffee increases the amount of a muscle fuel called glycogen in your body. “Packing a greater reserve means that the very next time you work out, you’ve upped your ability to exercise harder and/or longer,” the article reports.
- Coffee reduces the risk of age-related injuries by strengthening muscles that are normally weakened by age.
Tips for how to utilize coffee to help you exercise include:
- Drink coffee about one hour before you exercise in the morning.
- Drink coffee for lunch if you are going to exercise in the afternoon or evening.
- Be consistent in how much coffee you drink. Your body adjusts better to the caffeine when you drink two cups every day or four cups every day, but not two cups one day and four cups the next.
- Make sure that you drink more water than coffee. Water is still the best liquid for exercise.
- Don’t drink too much coffee. A 150-pound woman shouldn’t drink more than 16 ounces of coffee per day. The rule is don’t drink more than six milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. A milligram is about one-quarter of an ounce.