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Coffee Before Exercise: Good or Bad?

Drinking coffee before beginning your workout can give you an extra energy boost, but is it a good idea? Keep reading to find out.

If you're feeling sluggish during your workout, you may have looked into adding a pre-workout stimulant to your supplement routine. Another option is a beverage you probably consume every week, if not every day: coffee. But is drinking coffee good for the body before training?

The reason coffee has become a favorite pre-workout drink is very simple -- it provides caffeine. Caffeine is a chemical that occurs naturally within coffee beans and consuming it stimulates the central nervous system. Here are some of the effects coffee can have on the body:

  1. Increased alertness
  2. More energy/stamina
  3. Minor analgesic (painkiller) effect
  4. Greater calorie burn
  5. Improved circulation

These effects are why caffeine is commonly added to workout supplements to improve workout performance. But what's the right way to add coffee to your training routine?

The key to consuming coffee before a workout is to make sure you're properly hydrated. Coffee is a natural diuretic, which means it encourages the removal of fluids from the body by increasing urination. While it's always important to drink water before, during and after training, be sure to take extra care to avoid the symptoms of dehydration if you're going to up your caffeine intake. Drinking your coffee black is best to avoid adding extra sugar and calories, but you can enhance your coffee's flavor and fat-fighting benefits by mixing in some coconut oil or a natural sweetener for less bitterness. Lastly, make sure to have a meal that provides the right blend of protein and carbohydrates before training to properly fuel the muscles and prevent the jitters. Follow up your workout with another meal to encourage muscle recovery.

However, not everyone should consume coffee before training or supplements that contain caffeine for that matter. Anyone with a heart condition or high blood pressure or who is taking medication that makes them sensitive to caffeine, like antidepressants or hormone replacements, shouldn't consume coffee before training, as it can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. 

For more of the latest health news and information, be sure to check back each week. Stay well!

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