There’s been a huge debate for centuries whether coffee is good or bad for you!
Like with everything, you need to understand why you are doing something and understand the benefits as well as side effects.
Do you need an extra kick before your workout?
Are you struggling to focus whilst you work out?
Is your aim in a workout to lose fat?
Yes, it’s true, coffee helps with all the above! This is great, however that all depends on your sensitivity to caffeine! Around 50% of the population don’t handle it effectively. What that means is it isn’t properly processed by the metabolism. There’s certain enzymes that you would have as part of your genetic trait which will determine if you can handle caffeine.
How do you know if you respond well or not? – If you get constipated or fatigue after drinking coffee then you most likely don’t respond well!
If you do respond well that’s great! Coffee will most certainly help as a pre-workout because it’s a stimulant which means it will increase alertness, focus and general metabolic energy levels!
If your goal is fat loss, then using coffee before a workout is best! Here are the reasons why:
Caffeine is a nervous system stimulator – (gives a mental boost) which means you will be able to focus more on your workout. More focus = more exercise = more results.
Enhances glycogen effects which helps to metabolise more fatty acids. Simply put you will actually burn more calories from fat!
Caffeine will delay the onset of fatigue.
So now we are aware of the benefits however like most things in life coffee is only good if used in moderation!
Drinking 2-3 cups per day is bad for your body! I have to put my hands up at this point because I typically drink 2-3 cups per day myself! I’m aware of the bad side effect of coffee and cycle off coffee for a while when I feel I need to. I’m very pro for listening to one’s body so naturally do this anyway!
Here’s why it’s bad for your body:
It has a relatively long half-life which means a lot of us are supped up on coffee! You know this is the case when you can’t function in the morning without a coffee or feel grouchy!
Removes a lot of B vitamins and depletes calcium stores. If you drink a lot of coffee, then it’ll be a good idea to take a B vitamin and calcium supplement.
We can become dependent on it… it becomes an addiction!
We drink it when we are stressed. This is bad because when your stressed your cortisol levels are already high! Cortisol is the stress hormone, coffee increases cortisol so guess what your cortisol level gets even higher so you get even more stressed!
You build an intolerance and crave more and more caffeine which will make your insulin more resistant (this is bad!).When we talk about insulin we talk about blood sugar. Restricted insulin + poor diet, poor exercise and too much stress is a sure fire for a bad body composition!
All this is assuming you are drinking espressos (my fave!) or straight black! I’m guessing most people like to spice their coffee up a bit with all kinds of sugar, syrups, milk and cream which all have separate health attachments!
Now to sum things up a bit! Yes, for a lot of us coffee is great as a pre-workout or fat burner however most of us coffee lovers don’t use it right! Or should I say abuse it. We are meant to use it infrequently and in small amounts!
My recommendation is to have one 6 oz. cup per day! This can be at any point during the day, either in the morning to kick start your day, 20 mins before your workout (1mg per 2.2kg of body weight) or at any point you need a kick i.e. when you’re starting to fatigue whilst working at lunchtime.
In association with The Runner Bean Co.
ALL BIBC MEMBERS RECEIVE 10% OFF THE RUNNER BEAN COFFEE CO COFFEE BEANS - USE DISCOUNT CODE BIBC10 ON CHECKOUT! DIRECT LINK BELOW:
The Runner Bean Coffee Co are a local eco-friendly coffee roastery based in Thatcham, West Berkshire.