The following article originally appeared on STRONGCoffee.com
Coffee before a workout: an ergogenic effect.
Pre-workouts have saturated the fitness/health industry for a long time now. Let's be honest; there's a lot of stuff out there that you probably don't need to take.
Caffeine levels vary. You have to be careful with proper servings. You're forced to ingest whatever other ingredients get mixed in. Then there are the possible side effects of taking pre-workouts; you might want to ask yourself, is this right for me? Are the desired ergogenic effects happening?
Is this what my body really needs?
These pre-workouts can give you the jitters or increase water retention. Some people experience mild reactions like an uncomfortable tingling sensation in their hands and feet. If you ask me, that makes the prospect of working out way less desirable when I could possibly feel these things after taking a pre-workout.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ERGOGENIC?
Ergogenic is defined as something intended to aid in performance enhancement, stamina, or even recovery from the muscle pain we feel post-workout. Something that is ergogenic will help you do better when it comes to your fitness.
Enter the supplements!
Supplements are supposed to be ergogenic (help aid you), and this why they're so popular within the walls of the fitness-industrial complex.
What if I told you that coffee is an excellent alternative to many of the manufactured supplements out there?
IS COFFEE GOOD BEFORE A WORKOUT?
The research is very encouraging when using coffee as a pre-workout. The main effect of caffeine on the body is to increase alertness and arousal. This combination can help make your workout experience not feel so bad – dare I say it could make you feel like you're kicking ass!
It also possible that consuming coffee before performing your workout can help to burn fat. That's a big part of why we do it, right?! A fresh cup of java can help you get rid of that stubborn fat!
HOW DOES CAFFEINE HELP BURN FAT?
That cup of joe you take before your workout can help get your body primed to burn fat. During a typical workout, your body uses glycogen as the primary energy source. Glycogen is a stored version of glucose, which is the body's preferred energy source and a vital one.
This next step is how the caffeine in coffee works as an ergogenic aid. When glycogen stores run out in the body during your workout, muscles get weaker. That's when you start to bonk during a workout and not feel as strong.
The body has the incredible ability to switch to burning fat for fuel. That's right! Your muscles can use fat for energy. The caffeine from coffee can speed up that process, so your muscles are burning fat faster. This can also have the bonus ergogenic effect of preserving glycogen stores and allowing muscles to function longer before becoming exhausted.
That means a better workout experience overall from the effects of caffeine!
A study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism goes on to explain the benefits of a hot cup of black coffee.
It turns out that people could burn 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise compared to the people that weren't having coffee. They also discovered that drinking caffeine in the morning helped to keep your daily caloric intake where it should be. The study found that people who drank caffeine consumed, on average, 72 fewer calories.
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS OF COFFEE BEFORE A WORKOUT?
The obvious benefit is how alert you are during your workout. This helps you stay focused, keep good form, and keep the risk of an injury down.
According to a study conducted by the University of Illinois, another benefit is that consuming coffee can reduce the muscular pain felt during and after exercise. This allows you to get a better workout experience!
The next time you're reaching for that pre-workout supplement, take a moment to think about what you're putting in your body. Good old black coffee is probably all you really need. This ergogenic aid will help you get the most out of our workout and give you the energy required to stay alert and safe during your exercise experience. Me, I'd prefer to enjoy that cup of joe over a pre-workout supplement any day.