You know you are an adult when your day begins with a giant pot of caffeine. Whether your choice is coffee, soda, or energy drinks, 80% of Americans on average get their morning boost from caffeine. Beyond giving us the energy we need to make it through work, this natural stimulant might bring more benefits than we realize.
Benefits of Caffeine
There is a reason Americans consume a dose or two of caffeine each day. Scientists have researched the addictive properties for years and concluded that afternoon tea is a must-have for some, but for others, it is simply a joy. No matter which category you fall into, the benefits of caffeine can’t be denied:
- Improved Mental Function
- Better Short-Term Memory
- Less Fatigue
- Weight Loss
- Enhanced Physical Performance
- Decreased Depression
Using Caffeine to Boost Your Workouts
Whether it is an afternoon swoll session or you are pumping the iron first thing in the morning, a dose of black coffee might be the perfect pre-workout beverage to boost your lifting performance. Studies show that black coffee packs a punch of caffeine and amps up your energy levels, literally getting your blood pumping 30 to 75 minutes after consumption.
Because it revs up your metabolism, it is thought that using caffeine as a pre-workout will prompt your body to use fat for energy instead of glycogen. Whether today's workout calls for strength training or endurance training, the consumption of caffeine can enhance your performance. However, you should consider how much you intake. Since it activates your nervous system, too much of a good thing can have a laxative effect.
When to Consume Caffeine
Timing is everything - the caffeine buzz stays in your system for 4-6 hours. Timing your intake to morning or mid-day will help from interfering with your regular sleep patterns or preventing your body from winding down. Getting ample rest is proven to be one of the most important factors in bettering our health gains, so be sure to structure your coffee breaks with that in mind.
What to Watch out For
Drinking can cause and increase in blood pressure. Before beginning or increasing your caffeine consumption, consult your doctor. Because caffeine falls into the stimulant category, it can lead to an increase in blood pressure and have a negative effect on your nervous system.
Keep Everything in Moderation
A little bit goes a long way. While the correct amount of caffeine can help alleviate symptoms of depression, too much can cause an adverse effect. The recommended amount is 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which equates to 2-3 cups of coffee. But each person’s intake will vary. Avoid the jitters by starting off small and pair it with a meal or snack. Simply limit your intake to one cup of coffee or swap the coffee out with green tea to avoid the anxious feelings that stem from higher caffeine consumption.
Whether it gives you a morning boost, improves your work performance, or gets your blood pumping before a workout, the benefits of caffeine are undeniable.