Good news! Coffee is not only good for you but can lead to empowered performance, for some... Are you one of them? For some individuals coffee can be the difference in setting a new PR. For others, coffee could be limiting your ability to recover and perform at your best. Are you a performance junkie like us? If so, read on to find out if coffee is the drug you need!
There are 400 million cups of coffee consumed every day in America. The United States alone imports over $4 billion in coffee each year. Once believed bad for you, coffee has recently been redeemed in pop culture and when paired with bacon or donuts can ensure the success of any clothing brand. It’s not just the hipster's either. The fitness industry is also pushing the new black gold and it’s become a staple in many nutritional recommendations. With such a dominating presence in the fitness world, surely coffee is good then… right?
From this point forward any use of the word “coffee” is in reference only to the black stuff. That’s right, you’re "Mochafrappachinolattedolce" with whipped cream isn’t coffee; it’s a recipe for Type II diabetes with caffeine behind it to speed up the process. Our goal is to choose nutrient dense foods with a profitable return of investment. For this reason, sugar laden coffee doesn’t make the cut.
Not only has the Agency of Research on Cancer cleared coffee of any association with cancer, some studies have shown a link between controlled movement in Parkinson’s sufferers and coffee consumption. It’s not just the caffeine either. While studies have shown caffeine to have detrimental effects on blood sugar in Type II diabetes, other studies have shown decaf coffee to be actually beneficial for diabetes sufferers!
Coffee also has performance benefits. The ACSM reported that pre-workout coffee can increase endurance in elite athletes, while the British Journal of Sports Medicine found coffee to have an ergogenic effect on intense exercise. In other words, coffee can increase work out put. Pretty cool, huh? At Power Athlete we too are fans of the magic bean and even include it as part of our pre workout supplement recommendations.
Seriously there’s nothing I like more than getting leaded with espresso and taking a ride down Jacked Street, but the fact is that coffee is not for everyone. If you’re under sleeping or have stress issues you’d do best to avoid coffee, at least until your issues are fixed. I’m speaking to those of you who have a hard time getting to sleep, wake up in the middle of the night or wake up feeling poorly rested and recovered. Sure, you love coffee but wouldn’t you like to have your coffee and sleep great too?
If you’re having trouble getting your eight or more hours of sleep per night you should probably abstain. The half life of coffee for most individuals is 5-6 hours, while others who are genetically predisposed to caffeine sensitivity may take 12-20 hours to process half of the ingested caffeine. In other words, it takes 5-6 hours for half the amount of caffeine consumed to leave our blood stream. If you do the math you will see that with a 10:00pm bedtime, half of a powerful stimulant is still making its way throughout your body. Without the time for me to tell you how important sleep is in the confines of this blog, please checkout this podcast with Dr. Kirk Parsley if you want to know how sleep will drastically improve your performance.
According to a study published in a 2008 edition of Psychosomatic Medicine, caffeine increases the secretion of cortisol, even at rest. Also known as the “stress hormone”, cortisol manages the body’s stress responses such as glucose levels and macronutrient metabolism. When we stress, our body secretes cortisol as a “fight or flight” response. As part of this response our body is flooded with glucose which over time can lead to spikes in blood sugar and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. With the knowledge that coffee enacts this same response, one can see how repeated bursts of cortisol throughout the day can be detrimental to performance and body composition. If you are already an under-slept and over stressed individual, you only exacerbate the problem.
At Power Athlete, we love our coffee. We also however put nothing before performance and will stop at nothing to level up. We aren’t asking you to stop drinking coffee. We simply ask that you check yourself before you wreck yourself. If you are stressed and under-slept, cutting the leaded stuff could be a major step towards your goals. If you’re sleeping right and living chill then get yourself some coffee and ride the gain train to empowered performance!