6 Of The Ways That Coffee Can Enhance Athletic Performance And Still Be Healthy

It hasn’t been but a decade ago that doctors were constantly warning about the dangers of drinking too much coffee. Since then, dozens of reports have surfaced pointing to mistakes in the original research and espousing numerous health benefits, with more being discovered all the time. My how times have changed. You can now feel comfortable having that extra cup of Joe and rid yourself of the guilt feelings you had in the past. Here are 6 ways that coffee can enhance your athletic performance, sometimes directly, and other times indirectly.

First, Putting Some of The Bad Data To Rest

Research studies from 30 to 40 years ago originally showed that people that drank a lot of coffee had higher risks of bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, and several others. However, when scientists went back and re-examined the same data they found that most of the higher risk individuals also smoked tobacco.

Once they removed the tobacco smokers from the statistics, the relationship between coffee and cancer disappeared. This turned out to be one of those times where reading the data incorrectly was the problem. Since then, more studies have been done and it turns out that coffee protects against cirrhosis of the liver, lowered type 2 diabetes risk, and possibly protected against Parkinson’s disease as well.

More research is being done on coffee than ever before and more good news is coming out daily. A 10- year long study of nurses showed that those that drank more coffee had a reduced risk of suicide and suffered from less depression. And the caffeine in coffee is also thought to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, but further study is being done in Europe now.

Korean scientific researchers found that drinking up to 5 cups of coffee per day could reduce heart disease symptoms. A Brazilian study showed less arterial calcification in people that drank at least 3 cups per day.

How Coffee Can Help The Athlete

One of the best ways that coffee can help the athlete is by giving them more energy and stamina as a pre-workout booster drink. It’s no secret that coffee contains plenty of caffeine and that is one of the best all-natural stimulants you can buy. There’s no point in taking expensive pills or highly caffeinated energy drinks when coffee offers at least the same amount of caffeine, is cheaper, and all natural.

Studies show that the peak blood levels of caffeine from drinking coffee occur at about 30-60 minutes after consumption. Coffee will raise the heart rate, start the burning of fat, increase energy and decrease depression all at the same time. If caffeine helps you work out longer, you’ll build bigger and stronger muscles which in turn burn more fat at rest than other body tissues. That’s three benefits right there.

Coffee also helps increase focus and attention span. In many sports, like basketball, ping-pong, baseball, or football, paying attention, even during the lulls is very important. Not only that, but enhanced eye-hand coordination is also a factor in nearly every sport at well.

By speeding up the metabolism, and increasing focus, the athlete has a better opportunity to grab an in-flight ball or avoid contact with another player during the game. These are both valuable attributes in most sports.

Increased Endurance and The Resistance To Fatigue

These two benefits are related but slightly different. Endurance in most sports is how long you can run or continuously compete without stopping. Like a long distance run where you can’t stop, or you’ll automatically lose the race.

The caffeine in coffee stimulates the body to start using fat that is stored in the body rather than just glucose, this allows the athlete to run farther without depleting what is called muscle glycogen, or muscle stored sugar. This allows a much longer duration of constant exercising.

Fatigue is more in the form of being able to get back up after every play and keep your focus and ability to stay on the field without sitting out a few plays. They are related but somewhat different. The caffeine in coffee is a great way to increase both plus it’s safe, legal, and healthy all at the same time.

Coffee Helps With Hydration Too

In the past it was assumed that coffee and other caffeinated drinks would act as diuretics and rid the body of its extra water. This water is essential for the athlete, especially one that is sweating as they play the game or work out.

New studies have shown, done by the US military, that over a 24-hour period, the amount of urine loss was the same in those that drank caffeinated beverages as those that didn’t. The difference was that in the previous studies they only measured the urine loss at two hours or four hours after consumption.

When the time span was expanded it showed that the body adjusted to the caffeine to regulate urine. Since the overall performance of the soldiers were enhanced with high caffeine intake it was decided that the benefits far outweighed any side effects after the study.

Many of The Basic Stats In Studies

There are dozens of studies online that can be found about the benefits of coffee, and the caffeine it contains, for athletes. The average performance boost was found to be about 12% with better stats on long endurance than short term exercise. Athletes during tests found that different exercises felt 6% easier while taking caffeinated drinks.

In most studies a caffeine intake of 250 milligrams was considered moderate. Most studies used body weight to regulate the amount given to each athlete in order to keep the mg/lb the same for comparisons. Plus, most studies warned against the high calorie, high fat, Starbucks Vanilla Frapuccino, that carries a whopping 470 calories, since that would negate any benefit or advantage that one might gain from drinking coffee. The best, of course, is black coffee that has no calories at all. A regular coffee with 2 creamers plus two sugars would come in at around 80 calories and be just fine in most diets. All the benefits without very many calories. Any way you look at it, it seems like Detour Coffee Toronto coffee maybe the least expensive, best performance booster, for most athletes while being healthy all the way around.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.