Coffee Before Gym Good or Bad?

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American’s have a strange relationship with Gyms.

Gym membership has been growing overall by 20% since 2008.

Last year alone 54 million American’s paid for a new gym membership. 

On average, gym members worked out more than 100 times last year – the highest ever!

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Only a fifth of gym members use their gym regularly and over 13% of gym-goers have lied about going to the gym!

Americans also love their coffee.

In this survey, it was found that 64% of Americans were drinking coffee everyday. 

But is there anyway that caffeine can help with our workouts?

How Does Caffeine Help During Exercise?

Caffeine changes the way your body works.

Caffeine is one of nature’s best stimulants. It increases heart rate, blow flow to your body, and it also increases the rate of oxygen flow to your muscles

In fact, the U.S special Forces use caffeine to boost their performance and endurance.

It improves your focus, your muscle performance, and your body’s ability to burn fat. So, it could help you lose weight.

The more tired you are, the harder it is to exercise. And research shows, that caffeine can help.

It makes your muscles burn fat instead of glycogen, meaning you don’t get as tired when you exercise.

Caffeine affects the brain too. It switches on the parts of the brain that make you more focused and energetic.

This is the effect most coffee drinkers feel when sipping their morning coffee.

Coffee helps your body release endorphins – hormones that make you feel good. If you feel good, you’re more likely to stay on that treadmill a few more minutes.

Dr. Terry Graham, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph believes that a cup of coffee before going to the gym will make you exercise easier.

The effects of caffeine on exercise are so overwhelmingly positive that the   NCAA (The National Collegiate Athletic Association) has started to ban its use in high dosage.

What are the disadvantages of drinking coffee before a workout?

Coffee stops blood getting to your heart. Drinking a cup of coffee reduces blood flow.

If your heart gets less blood, your muscles won’t get enough oxygen. You will feel dizzy and could faint – not so good for your morning trip to the gym.

This is even worse if you have heart troubles.

Drinking caffeine during high-altitude sports like mountaineering or hill-running could make you lightheaded. You might feel dizzy and fall- a long way down.

The caffeine in coffee makes it hard to get to sleep. It makes you restless.

Waking up all night is one of the worst things for exercise.

Coffee might keep you awake for your workout, but if you miss too much sleep, it will damage your body.

A recent study has found that while the effects of caffeine vary from person to person, regular intake of caffeine will affect your pattern of sleep. 

Another potential downside is that as well as being a very powerful stimulant, drinking coffee on a regular basis can become addictive.

The addiction to caffeine leads to nausea, headaches, anxiety, and cravings. 

And another common side effect with caffeine is is dehydration.

This is a serious problem, especially when exercising.

If you are drinking coffee before a workout; you will find yourself getting more and more thirsty by the hour.

How long before a workout should I drink caffeine?

So, you want a sip of coffee before you hit the gym in the morning?

Caffeine takes thirty minutes to get into the bloodstream.

But, it is most effective after an hour. It needs enough time to get into your system to improve your performance.

According to Heidi Skolnik, M.S., a sports nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc: caffeine is usually absorbed by the body in 15- 40 minutes, and after 30-45 minutes you will experience peak caffeine stimulus effects.

Don’t drink coffee on its own before you work out. You need plenty of fluids. Make sure you have a big glass of water with you to stay hydrated.

And there is some bad news for all you who workout in the evening. 

Caffeine stays in your system for up to seven hours but because we are all different, this is something that you might want to experiment with. 

Some people may be able to have a coffee before their 6pm gym session- others may stay awake all night.

Will Drinking Coffee (Before a Workout) Help Me Lose Weight?

Drinking coffee on its own won’t help you lose weight.

But, a cup of black coffee before you go to the gym will make you work harder.

The coffee itself won’t help you lose weight, but the extra effort you put into your workout will.

Cut out the milk and sugar though, those contain calories. Just use fresh coffee and water.

People who drink more coffee work harder, travel further and burn more calories.

Apparently, the caffeine in coffee helps fat break down so your body can use it as fuel.

So, when trying out caffeine with your workout, start with a small dose.

What Are The General Health Benefits of Coffee?

Coffee has a plethora of health benefits and some of them are given below:

  • Coffee will generally keep you more energized.
  • It will also trim your figure by burning quite a few fats.
  • It will drastically improve your physical performances.
  • Coffee contains a lot of nutrients like:
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • Manganese and potassium
  • Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3)

It may help prevent diabetes and reduce your risk of getting liver disease.

It could ward off liver cancer.

Some research suggests it might keep your heart beating.

In Europe, people who drank four coffees a day had a 11% less chance of getting heart failure.

There is some evidence that it might help older people avoid Alzheimer’s and Dementia. But, coffee is only one of many factors to reduce the risk.

How Does Caffeine Affect Heart Rate?

Caffeine increases your heart rate. It increases adrenaline in your body.

Blood pressure goes up and your heart rate gets a bit faster. Your heart pumps harder.

From your first sip of coffee, it takes about 15 minutes for your heart rate to change.

For patients with some heart conditions, it can cause the heart to miss beats or change heart rhythm.

People who drink lots of coffee often feel an increased heart beat or flutter. Your heart is beating both faster and harder. This is a normal effect of caffeine on the body.

Consult a doctor if you heart rhythm is unusual, or you skip heartbeats. You might need to cut down on the coffee.

According to WHO caffeine is an addictive substance and drinking more than 250 mg daily will lead increase heart rate, and blood pressure.

Caffeine is a stimulus- it increases the blood flow to the body while also simultaneously increasing the heart rate.

Drinking more then 60 oz (10 cups) a day will lead to chronic heart issues and other heart problems.

Can Caffeine Help Make You Run Faster?

It can.

How? Caffeine improves your muscles reaction time.

When you drink caffeine, the messages between your brain and muscles get faster. It is effective over short and long distances.

With a cup of coffee, your muscles respond faster, burn more fat and work more efficiently.

Looks like your morning coffee might help you race to catch the train when you wake up late!

Caffeine can also enhance running endurance. It gives you the energy you need to finish the difficult last leg of a race.

Many marathon runners use caffeine to boost performance. It helps them keep going when they run out of steam.

What Other Things Should I Do Before a Workout to Help?

First things first, get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the best performance enhancers. Getting more sleep also makes you less hungry. It’s best to avoid using smartphones and computers before bed. The light makes sleep more difficult.

Drink lots of water. Drinking water is crucial when exercising. When you sweat, your body loses water and you get thirsty. Water is also vital to keep your energy levels high.

If you are hungry, eat a small healthy snack before working out. Don’t eat too much though otherwise you’ll get nauseous.

Last but not least, make sure you warm up. It’s crucial to prepare your body for the impact of your workout. It’ll help keep you in peak condition.