If you’re a coffee addict, you’re probably already keen to coffees number one benefit. It’s energizing boost that can make the morning grind bearable, and take you from bitchy to bubbly in just a few sips!
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to coffee and coffees magic little stimulating, addictive compound – caffeine. As a result, I often get asked if it’s okay to drink coffee, but the truth is, there are a ton of benefits to coffee and caffeine and there really is no reason to avoid it.
But first, a disclaimer! Enjoy coffee within reason, it’s not ok to drink 10 cups of extra strong roast loaded up with 5 tablespoons of sugar and heavy cream. It is ok to enjoy your morning unsweetened coconut almond milk latté with a double shot! Here are 7 reasons to keep drinking this satisfying ground deliciousness.
Boost Your Brain Power
Caffeine can boost your brain by blocking certain compounds that can slow down activity. Research has shown that when caffeine was supplemented, the activity of the prefrontal lobe of the brain increases. This leads to improved focus, concentration, and alertness.
In one study, Navy Seals given the caffeine equivalent to 1 or 2 cups of coffee after sleep deprivation and continuous exposure to stressors showed improved reaction time, memory and alertness as well as reduced fatigue and sleepiness. That doesn’t mean you should use coffee as a substitute for sleep but it can certainly help boost brainpower first thing in the morning after a rough bender, or get you through a post-lunch afternoon crash.
Downing a double shot of espresso before a workout can do wonders for your energy. It can also enhance focus when performing exercise and improve workout performance. Caffeine in the system can also cause less reliance on glycogen—the muscle’s primary source of energy. Instead caffeine forces an increase in the mobilization of free fatty acids from storage to be burned as fuel. This means you burn more fat and hold onto more glycogen for your muscles!
Research has shown that following the ingestion of caffeine by cycling athletes, the process of glycogenolysis, which is the breakdown of the muscles energy source, glycogen, was decreased while fat oxidation or fat burning was increased. Thus providing the body with more fuel, resulting in longer workout performance and decreased time to fatigue. Although both coffee and caffeine supplementation prior to exercise can cause this effect, the supplement form—the one found in your pre-workouts—can be more effective.
Makes You Wonder Woman
Research indicated a moderate dose of caffeine significantly enhanced both leg extension strength as well as time to fatigue during leg extension performance. This means more strength, and longer sets! This is a result of alterations of neuromuscular function and skeletal muscle contraction. Caffeine supplementation increases your muscles work capacity, allowing you to train harder and longer, but even to go further!
One study showed trained athletes ran 2 to 3 km more on caffeine! Further research on the effects of caffeine in strength-power sports suggests that supplementation can help trained strength and power athletes have more energy for prolonged exercise. This performance effect is more than likely specific to the individual and their caffeine tolerance.
You Become a Tougher Bitch
In addition to making you wonder woman – improving performance by providing the muscles with more fuel for burning, caffeine consumption can also work as a mild analgesic, which means its blocks the feeling of pain!
As a result you can work out longer before you begin to feel sore which can decrease your workout performance. Caffeine consumption can significantly increase plasma levels of beta-endorphin concentrations following exercise. Endorphins are peptides that activate the body’s opiate receptors causing the analgesic or pain-numbing effect. When endorphin levels are high, this can lead to a decrease in pain perception, which means longer workouts!
Works Super Fast
One of the benefits of caffeine is its ability to quickly cross the blood brain barrier stimulating the central nervous system quickly. That means if you need a quick pick-up, whether it’s for the gym, to bust through the afternoon wall, or rev you up for a night of fun, caffeine can start to work within 15 to 30 minutes of consumption and peak within 1 hour post ingestion. What’s more, caffeine clearance takes 3 to 6 hours, which means it can provide you with hours of extra energy. What you choose to do with that energy is up to you!
Melts the Fat
Caffeine consumption can promote a significant metabolism increasing effect. In fact, one study showed that caffeine consumption at a dose of 100mg resulted in a significant thermogenic effect despite the fact that subjects had a habitual caffeine intake of 100-200 mg per day. The increase in energy expenditure did not return to baseline until 3 hours post-consumption.
Caffeine also has a synergistic effect when combined with other fat burning supplements such as green tea. Caffeine blocks a key enzyme involved in degradation of norepinephrine—a fat burning hormone that gets stimulated by green tea. Caffeine’s action allows norepinephrine levels to remain elevated for longer periods. Combining 200 mg of caffeine with 200 mg of Green Tea Extract with a 50% EGCG content is enough to elicit this response.
Less Moody More Happy
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can increase the amount of adrenaline in the blood, resulting in increased levels of energy and improved alertness. It can also block adenosine, the neurotransmitter that slows down nerves and signals sleep, further resulting in enhanced energy. Additionally, it also increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, which can increase feelings of being happier and more relaxed. The result a feel-g00d energetic buzz!
Keep the Good Stuff Working For You….
Drink too much of this delicious goodness and you will become tolerant and insensitive to its amazing effects!
Cycling on and off coffee every now and again, can help keep this baby on your side for the long run! If you have been a frequent user of caffeine in the form of coffee, fat burners, pre-workouts, or energy drinks, consider cycling off of them for a period of 1 week to help reset your neuro receptors.
That being said, caffeine is processed quickly and has an extremely short half-life in body. In fact, it only takes about 5 to 7 hours to get rid of a half-dose, which means after 10 to 14 hours, it’s already gone. Just remember if you have been using caffeine for a period of time, going off of it may cause headaches, fatigue, anxiety, loss of focus and performance decreases.
Be Fierce & Rule the World,
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