Thursday, July 7, 2016

Caffeine & Exercise

Benefits of Drinking Coffee before a workout!

Are you a health nut with a desire for coffee and espresso? Turns out you’re on the right track! Drinking Espresso and/or black coffee before a workout has actually been proven to provide the body with a ton of benefits! With the launch of our new BUTTKICKER- cold brew pre-workout Espresso shot, we thought we’d enlighten our fans and clients on the benefits of such a product!

A recent study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who consumed caffeine (in black coffee) before their workout burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-workout compared to those who ingested a caffeine supplement.

An average dosage that triggered such results was measured at 4.5mg of caffeine per Kilogram of body weight. Therefore, in terms of Lbs- a 130 pound female (roughly 59 kg) would need to consume about 300mg of caffeine. This amount of caffeine can be found in 12 ounces of brewed coffee- an average size of a morning cup!

Now that we’ve got your interest, lets back track and learn a bit more about Caffeine itself!

Caffeine is a potent insecticide which plants produce to help kill off certain pests. Caffeine offers memory enhancement and a healthy ‘buzz’ to pollinating insects.

Similar to Chocolate, and Pomegranate, Caffeine seems to have been consumed since the earliest of days recorded in human history. Most of the caffeine we consume today is extracted from plants during the process of decaffeinating either coffee or tea.

Once consumed, Caffeine targets the central nervous system by promoting spinal cord excitability and muscle fibre recruitment, all while decreasing perceptions of fatigue and muscle pain. It has been demonstrated to improve physical performance in all manners of sports while delaying mental fatigue.

So what other benefits does Caffeine Consumption offer to your body? Let’s take a look!

Improved circulation: Recent Japanese research studied the effects of coffee on circulation in people who were not regular coffee drinkers. Each participant drank a 5-ounce cup of either regular or decaffeinated coffee. Afterward, scientists gauged finger blood flow, a measure of how well the body’s smaller blood vessels work. Those who downed “regular” (caffeinated) coffee experienced a 30% increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period, compared to those who drank the “unleaded” (decaf) version. Better circulation, better workout—your muscles need oxygen!

Less pain: Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30-minute bout of high-intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain. The conclusion: caffeine may help you push just a little bit harder during workouts, resulting in better improvements in muscle strength and/or endurance.

Better memory: A study published this year from Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine enhances memory up to 24 hours after it’s consumed. Researchers gave people who did not regularly consume caffeine either a placebo or 200 mg of caffeine five minutes after studying a series of images. The next day, both groups were asked to remember the images, and the caffeinated group scored significantly better. This brain boost may be a real boon during workouts, especially when they entail needing to recall specific exercises.

Muscle preservation: In an animal study, sports scientists at Coventry University found that caffeine helped offset the loss of muscle strength that comes with aging. The protective effects were seen in the diaphragm, the primary muscle used for breathing, as well as skeletal muscle. The results indicate that in moderation, caffeine may help preserve overall fitness and reduce the risk of age-related injuries.

More muscle fuel: A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that a little caffeine post-exercise may also be beneficial, particularly for endurance athletes who perform day after day. The research found that compared to consuming carbohydrates alone, a caffeine/carb combo resulted in a 66% increase in muscle glycogen four hours after intense, glycogen-depleting exercise. Glycogen, the form of carbohydrate that gets stockpiled in muscle, serves as a vital energy “piggy bank” during exercise, to power strength moves, and fuel endurance. Packing a greater reserve means that the very next time you work out, you’ve upped your ability to exercise harder and/or longer.

Although these statistics may encourage you to drink more coffee, please caffeinate responsibly!

  • Don’t overdo it. The maximum amount of caffeine recommended for enhancing performance with minimal side effects is up to 6 mg per kg body weight, which is about 400 mg per day (or about 16 ounces of coffee) for a 130-pound woman.
  • Incorporate it in healthy ways: doctor up coffee with almond milk and cinnamon instead of cream and sugar, or whip coffee or tea into a fruit smoothie, along with other nutrient-rich ingredients like almond butter and oats or quinoa.
  • Be consistent with your intake. Research shows that when your caffeine intake is steady, your body adjusts, which counters dehydration, even though caffeine is a natural diuretic. In other words, don’t reach for two cups one day and four the next.
  • Keep drinking good old H2O your main beverage of choice.
  • Nix caffeine at least six hours before bed to prevent sleep interference, and listen to your body. If you’re relying on caffeine as an energy booster because you’re tired, get to the root of what’s causing fatigue. Perhaps it’s too little sleep, over exercising, or an inadequate diet. If something’s off kilter, you won’t see progress, and you’ll likely get weaker rather than stronger. Striving for balance is always key!

Buttkicker is now available for purchase! Visit our showroom in Stouffville to sample it for yourself!