The evidence keeps mounting…coffee is good for you. Not only that, but it enhances athletic performance when used properly. Yes, caffeine is the main ingredient that is attributed to coffee for athletic performance, and you can get caffeine in carbonated soft drinks and pills. But the full spectrum of health benefits are found in coffee. Besides that, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew and Red Bull do not fit with the Vital Endurance philosophy, so you won’t find us promoting that stuff here.
1) Drinking Coffee = Hydration
Although once thought to have a diuretic effect, current research indicates coffee (in amounts normally consumed) hydrates as well as water over a 24-hour period. That is, after drinking coffee, you may urinate sooner, but you will not urinate more than you consume. Therefore, coffee counts towards your water intake. U.S. Army research on caffeine and hydration confirms coffee is an acceptable source of fluids for athletes, even during exercise in the heat.
2) Coffee is brimming with antioxidants
This is where coffee beats out sodas and pills. Endurance exercise causes oxidative stress in the body which creates free-radicals. Antioxidants reduce free-radicals in the body. Good, cleanly roasted and brewed organic coffee contains polyphenols such as flavan-3-ols (monomers and procyanidins), hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonols and anthocyanidins. These compounds all have antioxidative effects. Coffee contains roughly 800-900 mg of antioxodants per serving. This amount is on par or even greater than the amounts found in other known powerhouse foods like red grapes, dark chocolate, dates, berries and even green tea.
3) Caffeine increases mental alertness & focus
Caffeine is quickly assimilated into the brain, and affects many kinds of neurons (brain cells) in a positive way. Studies continue to show that caffeine can increase mental focus and concentration. This can be an essential edge in endurance competition. The ability to remain focused on your form and function and stay alert to the conditions and other competitors around you can be the difference between success and failure.
4) Caffeine Enhances Athletic Performance
Caffeine is documented to boost athletic power and endurance, so you can exercise harder and longer. Caffeine has a direct metabolic effect on muscle to improve endurance. In biological terms, caffeine helps muscle burn fat as the energy source, instead of glycogen (a carbohydrate). This difference in type of fuel used simply boosts endurance.
5) Don’t let your caffeine tolerance get too high
Save the boost for when you need it. The more you consume, the more your body gets used to it and stops responding the same way. This is called attenuation – same dose of caffeine, less effect. The best way to achieve optimal effect is to limit consumption to about 300 mg per day and consume it once a day just before the time you need it. So if you have an event or training in the afternoon, skip the morning cup and have some coffee before your athletic effort instead.
6) Use the proper amount of coffee for the most benefits
As a general rule, coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine in a medium mug. A general health rule is to limit daily consumption from all sources to about 300 mg per day. Too much caffeine can be negative, with symptoms like anxiety, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, muscle twitching, and heart palpitations. But not everybody experiences these symptoms in the same way. The ability to metabolize caffeine is a genetic predisposition. So if your body naturally handles it well, drink up…it’s good for you!
Vital Endurance has selected some phenomenal coffee for you to add to your endurance nutrition regimen…Enjoy!