Here at Artemis, we’re not only mad about coffee but also mad about fitness! From climbing to running and everything in between (including lacrosse!) we love to get our sweat on! Although we may be biased, we’re pretty sure all this motivation and energy comes from our coffee consumption, so we thought we’d delve further into the beneficial relationship between coffee and fitness…
We’re no experts, but we all know that our muscles need oxygen (carried in the blood) in order function and this increases ten-fold whilst working out. How can we ensure our muscles receive this increased demand you ask? The answer is simple, coffee. Backed by research, coffee has been found to have amazing effects on improving our circulation. One of the most significant Study’s was undertaken in Japan, where participants experienced a 30% increase in blood flow after drinking a 5-ounce cup of regular coffee. What’s even more impressive, is how the increased blood flow lasted up to 75 minutes, meaning even a 5-ounce cup of coffee can ultimately fuel your workout for over an hour!
Coffee and fitness = reduced pain
Post workout muscle pain is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Although some may embrace it as a sign of a good workout, others would prefer it to never surface in the first place. At Artemis, we’re definitely the latter, so want nothing more than to get back to exercising and that’s where the coffee comes in…
A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that caffeine ingestion significantly reduces muscle soreness two to three days after a workout. This is backed by research undertaken by the University of Georgia highlighting how a moderate dose of caffeine can reduce post-workout pain by up to 48%, that’s about two cups of coffee or a 250ml Artemis ready-to-drink Cold Brew, you’re welcome!
As briefly explained by the wonderful India in our previous blog on the nutritional benefits of coffee, the beverage we all love can boost endurance in more ways than one! We’re not talking about the obvious caffeine supplements you can combine with your pre-workout shake, we’re talking about a good ol’ cuppa Joe or Artemis Cold Brew.
Firstly, combining coffee and fitness can reduce your perceived level of exertion by more than 5%. Whilst 5% might not seem a lot, this little boost might be just what you need to push through that last set in the gym or achieve that running PB you’ve been itching for! This can be particularly beneficial in competitive sports, where small improvements can often make a huge difference.
Digging further into the matter, coffee has been shown as a great alternative to pure caffeine alone to improve endurance in sports such as competitive cycling and running, with some Studies suggesting that it may even be more effective at improving resistance exercises in certain individuals. This is great news for all you weightlifters, shot-putters, discus and ‘java’-lin (sorry!) throwers!
Timing is key
Although all these benefits of combining coffee and fitness are great, if you don’t drink your coffee at the right time, you might struggle to reap its full rewards. Whilst some researchers suggest drinking your coffee 45 – 90 minutes before exercising and others straight before, a certain amount of individual experimentation is needed to find out exactly how your pre-workout coffee will benefit you. Therefore, we suggest some trial and error to see just how your body reacts!
Be careful though…
Although coffee has been proven to bring a whole host of benefits when taken before exercising, it’s important to note that it should be taken alongside the required carbohydrates and protein and never used as a straight up replacement. This is because, as explained by Men’s Health, your body still needs an adequate amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat to fuel an entire workout and in most instances, coffee alone will not suffice.
So, grab that tasty cold brew (or hot brew, no judgement here) and start smashing those fitness goals!