By Gabe Sanders, PhD, NSCA-CSCS
If you enjoy your morning “cup of joe” along with the boost it gives you to start your day, I have good news for you! Drinking moderate amounts of coffee provides several health benefits, and the caffeine from coffee may not be that bad for you after all. Contrary to popular belief, consuming 200-300 milligrams of caffeine daily can be a great way to boost your energy. Coffee is a stimulant and it can even improve your metabolism. If you are wondering how much caffeine is in your mug, an 8-ounce cup of coffee will contain approximately 100-200 milligrams of caffeine, although, content can vary. A good rule of thumb is that the stronger and bolder your coffee is, the more caffeine it will contain.
While many people start their day with one or two cups of coffee, consuming 8-12 ounces of coffee at two separate times throughout the day may be a more effective way to stay energized. If we translate this to fitness and exercise, drinking a cup of coffee before your workout may provide you with a little more energy to power through your workout. Feeling energized during your workout will likely help you exercise with greater intensity and may even increase your endurance and help you to exercise for a longer period of time.
For those who drink a pot of coffee a day, be sure to exercise caution. Consuming greater than 500 milligrams of caffeine per day can result in negative side effects such as an upset stomach, insomnia, and nervousness. Drinking anything in excess can be unhealthy. If you are consuming an excessive amount of coffee, you may want to consider cutting back.
If blended coffee beverages are your forte but the sugar and calorie content deter you; this healthy twist on a coffee house favorite may be right up your alley, Frozen Vanilla Mocha Shake. This drink is higher in protein, lower in fat and sugar than its calorie-packed cousin, and would be a great alternative for your morning commute, pre or post workout drink, or even an afternoon pick-me-up.
To see the recipe – look under Delicious recipes-Frozen Vanilla Mocha Shake
Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org
Graham, TE. Caffeine, Coffee and Ephedrine: Impact on Exercise Performance and Metabolism. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 2001, 26(S1): S186-S191.