For many years, caffeine has been considered a performance enhancer. In fact, from the years between 1984 and 2004, the International Olympic Committee opted to test athletes for any high levels of the stimulant that they believed could provide them with an unfair advantage. Since that time, much stronger drugs have come into play of course, but for the average person, caffeine is still numero uno when it comes to a safe, workout performance enhancer. Read on for Caffeine & Your Fitness: 3 Reasons Why They’re the Perfect Match!
Effect of Caffeine on Your Body
The question is, should everyone drink a cup of coffee before they hit the gym? Is it something that will work for people who already consume coffee regularly? Well, when you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine moves pretty quickly to your head. Specifically, it has the special ability to block certain receptors in your brain. When the A1 (adenosine) receptor is blocked, the stimulation helps to reduce sleepiness and increase endurance.
It can also block the A2A receptor, (ADORA2A) which increases the levels of epinephrine and dopamine (a close relative of adrenaline), which increases your power and focus. Here are some specific reasons that you should consider using caffeine to boost your workout performance.
1. Increases Fat Burn
There’s a good chance that you’ll find caffeine listed on some of the most cutting-edge fat-burners used today. There are a few reasons for this. One is because of how it affects your brain’s receptors. It helps you to exercise longer, harder, and to burn more calories. It also helps you burn calories while you are resting, all thanks to the increase of noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine) that will increase your metabolic rate.
Remember, though, this type of short-term thermogenic effect is going to begin to fade if you are consuming large volumes of coffee daily. The pick-me-up provided also helps to mobilise the lipids in your fat cells, which makes it possible for them to be used as energy, which means your body works much more efficiently.
2. Speeds Up Recovery Time
If you drink coffee and eat carbohydrates, it can significantly improve the glycogen replenishment rate, which is especially important if you exercise often or more than once per day. This helps to repair all your muscles, allowing you to get back to the gym or back to your workout routine faster.
3. Improves Your Aerobic Performance
Do you play sports, run, or do any other type of endurance activity? If so, taking caffeine right before you workout can be beneficial. This is going to block the A1 receptor and allow you to “stay at it” for longer. However, if you participate in a sport that mostly relies on endurance but also requires shorter bursts of power, you will benefit most from actually drinking coffee. However, just don’t have it too often to ensure it remains an effective option. Too much coffee can stain your teeth ‘yellow’ and cause bad breath. Rather than drinking it every day, use it just before games or workouts.