National Coffee Day is tomorrow (September 29) and in honor of my favorite unofficial holiday, I thought it would be fun to dedicate a post to coffee. Prerequisite: you should be drinking coffee while you read this. 🙂
First, let’s agree that every day is National Coffee Day. Coffee is a part of my daily routine and it’s what gets me out of bed every morning. It’s how I start my day and it gets me going. I appreciate coffee MUCH more now that I’m a parent. Just sayin’.
To help us celebrate this special “holiday,” several coffee chains are offering some fun promotions on Thursday. Take a look at this list to see where you can get a free cup or other deals on coffee. I imagine you could get a few cups of coffee on the house simply by visiting all of these stores throughout the day. Anyone planning on doing that?
Several big coffee chains are giving away something a little different this year. For example, Starbucks will donate one rust-resistant coffee tree to farmers in need for every cup of Mexico Chiapas coffee it sells at participating stores in the US. And Caribou Coffee will donate a cup of coffee to caregivers at hospitals across the country for every cup of Amy’s Blend coffee is sells that day. Pretty amazing, right?
You don’t need to look very far to learn about the advantages of drinking a daily cup of coffee. The benefits of caffeine range from promoting happiness and decreasing depression to helping your productivity and improving your skin. Plus, it takes pretty amazing.
From a health and fitness standpoint, consuming coffee before your workout can be extremely beneficial. Some of these benefits include:
1. Improved blood flow – Studies show that caffeine can increase circulation. This means your body’s small blood vessels become more efficient at transporting oxygen to your muscles. The increase in oxygen leads to a better workout.
2. Greater endurance – Having a cup of coffee before a demanding workout like cycling or running can improve your ability to preserve. Why? Caffeine naturally raises the number of fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream. This allows your muscles to absorb and burn fat for fuel, saving your limited stores of carbohydrates/glycogen for later in the workout. This is particularly helpful for long workouts. Caffeine also encourages your muscles to release calcium which can be used for more endurance.
3. Enhanced alertness and mood – There’s no doubt that coffee can give you a mental and physical boost. Reaction time, focus, and attention all increase after consuming caffeine. And coffee is also a great motivator – it gives us the push we need to get going and enhances our mood. Better mood = better workout.
4. Metabolic effect – Research has show that caffeine heightens metabolism as well as your body’s ability to burn fat. It also helps regulate blood sugar and improves your insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
5. Increase athletic performance – In addition to boosting endurance, coffee increases your energy and your body’s ability to perform. It has also been shown to decrease muscle fatigue and your perception of pain. This could mean you are able to push harder and longer through your workout.
But here’s why you shouldn’t grab a coffee right after your workout…
While drinking coffee before your workout can aid in muscle recovery, you shouldn’t consume it immediately after training. Caffeine post workout can interfere with muscle recovery and can elevate your cortisol levels (which are typically elevated during and after your workout). Instead, try to wait a few hours after your workout before indulging in a second cup. Take a look at this article by Charles Poliquin to learn more.
Happy Wednesday my lovely friends! Have a great day!