Go ahead, fill up that second cup of coffee. Turns out there are many caffeine fitness benefits!
Caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States, especially as Americans look for new and convenient ways to boost their energy. There are several caffeine fitness benefits and lucky for us, there are many sources of caffeine:
- Energy Drinks
- Pre-Workout Mixes
- Yerba Mate
- Guarana Berries
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While some sources are higher in caffeine than others, it doesn’t matter so much where you get your caffeine from. It’s matters more how much you’re getting (although obviously 100 mg of caffeine from coffee is easier/healthier than eating 1 lb of chocolate to get your caffeine). As far as the benefits of caffeine for fitness results go, here are 5:
1. Decreased Fatigue Time
In a study done with strength and endurance training athletes (TBA), athletes reported feeling less fatigued in between sets. Caffeine consumption did not result in greater power output however.
2. Increased Alertness
The caffeine jolt from a cup of coffee or a pre-workout will increase alertness prior to and during workouts. This is particularly helpful when strength training and being aware of weight balance, and when switching positions quickly during endurance training.
3. Increased Metabolism
Caffeine is present in most fat burning supplement complexes, but the metabolism increasing effect of caffeine is only temporary. Where caffeine really makes a difference is by stimulating an individual to get up and get moving when they might otherwise feel sluggish and want to sit. The extra movement stimulated by caffeine is more likely to help burn extra calories as opposed to just drinking more coffee to try to burn fat.
4. Increased Focus
An athlete with more focus can accomplish a lot more. Caffeine enhances motor performance and cognitive performance allowing an athlete to focus on their immediate goal with greater intensity.
5. Decreased Recovery Time
Due to the vasodilating effect of caffeine, more blood and nutrients are able to rush to sore muscles allowing them to potentially heal faster or at the very least feel better.
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250-350 mg of caffeine is generally where you’ll experience these caffeine fitness benefits but it also depends on your tolerance. Some people can barely handle 50 mg of caffeine and are better off using a non-stimulant, amino acid based pre-workout drink. Other people barely feel 150 mg of caffeine and can handle two scoops of a pre-workout mix with no problem. I generally have 1 cup of coffee (~100 mg of caffeine) in the morning and 150-200 mg caffeine pre-workout from either black coffee or a pre-workout mix several hours later to experience the caffeine fitness benefits. You may need more caffeine, less caffeine, or no caffeine depending on your needs.