Afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
I trust you all had a fantastic weekend and Bank Holiday?
Mine was excellent, but I’m raring to go with another full on busy week ahead.
Today I want to talk about coffee and how it can benefit your performance in the gym, and also your overall health. I think this is important to many of us because I know that many of you guys are city based, in high pressure jobs with deadlines to meet, and probably drink your fair share of java throughout the day.
Firstly, coffee contains numerous anti – oxidants and appears to protect the endothelium. The endothelium makes up the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and is involved in blood flow throughout the body. Dysfunction of the endothelium is often seen in individuals with heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Caffeine increases nitric oxide production in the endothelium, leading to increased calcium production which supports vascular smooth muscle tone health. It can also support healthy arterial pressure helping to lower high blood pressure 🙂 Recent studies also show that previous concern that caffeine can lead to an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythm to be unfounded. Researchers now conclude that there is no risk on the cardiovascular system with consuming large quantities of coffee.
Great news for coffee lovers, the world over. Me included.
Further evidence suggests that caffeine from coffee consumption can improve insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of diabetes. If you can control insulin in your body, you can effectively avoid gaining body fat, which I am sure is good news for most reading this email. It can also improve brain health, decrease the risk of getting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
So that’s your health taken care of, how can coffee and caffeine help you in the gym?
Caffeine is the most used ergogenic aid used in sport today – A large coffee taken before a gym session will give you a buzz, make you feel more mentally alert and dialled into your workout session. Studies show that strength and endurance will improve, and although there is a raise in your heart rate, this is not a problem long-term. It will also help you metabolise fat easier, mentally improve your mood and reduce your perception of pain – which means you can work harder, faster and for longer.
Sounds great to me 🙂
One thing to avoid however, is the consumption of coffee AFTER a workout. This is actually detrimental to your performance and results in the gym. We already know from previous emails that your cortisol levels are high after a workout and the trick is to lower them as soon as possible. Caffeine will raise your cortisol, and elevated cortisol will lead to an increase in body fat. PLEASE AVOID HAVING COFFEE AFTER A WORKOUT. I know this is going to upset a few of you out there, especially those of you that workout around 7 – 7:30am, leave the gym and grab a coffee on the way to work but…if you want to get the benefits from coffee, listen to this all important piece of advice, which I have to be honest with you, I only discovered three years ago from the top strength and conditioning coach in the world, Charles Poliquin.
Well that’s coffee and caffeine for you. I just finished my double shot flat white thirty minutes ago and I’m about to start my workout for the day, all fired up 🙂
That’s all for now folks, have a great week ahead and you will hear from me soon.