Tag Archives: caffeine

7 Coffee Facts You Need to Know

8 Oct

Apparently, Saturday, September 29 was National Coffee Day.  I missed it.

I’ve touted the benefits of coffee and caffeine in past articles and blog posts (Please see Coffee, Caffeine, and Exercise, among others).  Here’s an informative article from The Ladders’ Meredith Lepore.  Read it with your daily cup of java.

It seems like every day there is a new study telling us either that coffee is slowly killing us, making us healthier, making us smarter, making us dumber, helping us grow wings, etc., However there are a number of studies that have come out recently that reveal some very interesting facts about your daily cup of joe. In honor of National Coffee Day, this Saturday, check out these 7 facts about coffee.

It can make everyone you work with so much more appealing

A recent study that appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology finds that if you have coffee before a conversation it will actually make you focus better and feel better about the people you are talking to. “The study was conducted using people who consume coffee regularly,” said study author Vasu Unnava. “For these people, it looks like coffee does make them feel more alert, focuses their thinking on the topic or task at hand, and has them participate more in group tasks. So, if you are a coffee drinker, it looks like coffee helps you do better in group tasks.”

The ideal time to drink coffee is actually four hours after you wake up

Though many of us can only get out of bed on the basis of knowing that a hot cup of coffee will be running through our bloodstreams within the hour, that is not actually when you should drink it if you want to maximize the benefits of caffeine. According to Laura Cipullo, registered dietitian and author of Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, you should have your first cup about four hours after you wake up. You are actually naturally alert when you wake up (even though it doesn’t feel like it) because your cortisol levels are high. So drinking caffeine on top that status is just going to make the drop even harder a few hours later.

It will extend your lifespan

In a study of 9 million British male and female adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years (10 to 15%) than those who didn’t drink it regularly according to study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Another study that took place over 10 years found that people who had four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of dying during the study than those who never drank it.

It won’t dehydrate you

Though coffee gets a bad rap it will not dehydrate you! Caffeine can keep you more hydrated than other liquids because you are usually drinking it with a volume of fluid like iced coffee or tea. A 2014 study found that there was zero evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake.

It can help you lose weight

According to a study out of the Netherlands, caffeine can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 11% and only three hours after you consume it.

It helps with memory

In addition to making you more alert, it can help you improve your memory according to a French study. But the best way to reap the memory benefits are by drinking it black (no sugar, creamer, etc.,) In addition to helping with memory it also can make you more intelligent, cleanse your gut, help your heart, improve your workouts, etc.

It can fend off diseases

A new study from the Simmons Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center found that consumption of coffee (both regular and decaf) is associated with a lower risk of developing colon cancer. Another study found that coffee can have some preventative qualities against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It can even fight against the onset of Parkinson’s.

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Caffeine Reduces Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness

10 Apr

There is considerable documentation touting the beneficial effects of caffeine on aerobic activity and resistance training performance.  Less, however, is known about caffeine’s effect on post-exercise muscle soreness.

A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of caffeine on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  In the study, individuals who ingested caffeine one hour before resistance training reported that this strategy “resulted in significantly lower levels of soreness on day 2 and day 3,” compared with individuals who did not ingest caffeine prior to working out.  (Hurley, et.al.)

The study corroborated previous findings that caffeine ingestion immediately before resistance training enhances performance.  “A further beneficial effect of sustained caffeine ingestion in the days after the exercise bout is an attenuation of DOMS.  This decreased perception of soreness in the days after a strenuous resistance training workout may allow individuals to increase the number of training sessions in a given time period.”

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Is 5-Hour Energy Worth It?

1 Mar

5-hour-energy[1]There’s a lot of marketing noise surrounding energy drinks. But should you partake if and when you want a little pick-me-up?

Yes and no, according to research. It appears that caffeine is responsible for virtually all the benefits of these energy drinks, including increased alertness and energy level. When caffeine is removed, the drinks’ other ingredients have little impact, say researchers.

Caffeine’s benefits are well-documented, and include:

  • Increased alertness and energy level
  • Improved cognitive function
  • A mild, mood-boosting effect
  • Improved exercise capacity

Ultimately, caffeine may help you think faster, exercise harder, and live longer. The next time you want a little caffeine-inspired jolt, stick with coffee. You’ll also benefit from its high levels of healthy antioxidants. If it’s got to be an energy drink, at least stay away from those that are loaded with sugar.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Coffee, Caffeine, and Exercise

16 Nov

cup-of-coffee1

Coffee sometimes gets a bad rap.  It’s full of antioxidants and essential nutrients, and has been linked with potential health benefits including: protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.

Additionally, coffee (caffeine) can improve energy levels, cognition, and physical performance.

Caffeine is one of two (legal) supplements documented to improve athletic and exercise performance (creatine being the other).

Athletes and active individuals routinely ingest caffeine to facilitate improvement during athletic activity, and resistance and endurance exercise.

Although the research regarding the relationship between caffeine and aerobic exercise performance is mixed, the majority of studies corroborate an improvement in resistance exercise performance after caffeine ingestion.

According to a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, “Coffee (0.15 g/kg) and decaffeinated coffee plus caffeine (5 mg/kg) have the ability to improve performance during a resistance exercise protocol.” (Richardson, D, et.al.)  This effect was especially significant in the short term.

The findings of this study include:

  • Caffeine increased contractility and force production of skeletal muscle
  • Caffeine enhanced neuromuscular transmission and maximal muscle activation
  • Increased calcium release and sodium-potassium pump activity
  • Inhibited negative effects of pain perception
  • Improved reaction time, cognition, and mood

Please see related articles:

Caffeine Reduces Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness

How Does Caffeine Affect Athletic Performance?

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5 Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

28 Mar

5-Tips-To-Boost-Your-Metabolism_1024x1024[1]Here’s a nice article from our friends and colleagues at ASD Performance.

  1. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST

Eat a good breakfast. Every. Single. Day. If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode which in turn causes your metabolism to slow in order to conserve energy. And the heartier your first meal is, the better. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that volunteers who reported regularly skipping breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity as those who took the time to eat.

      2. DRINK COFFEE:

A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf.

  1. RELAX:

Research is now showing that high levels of stress in in fact contributing to to weight gain. When you are stressed, your body will increase your stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates fat cells to increase in size and encourage fat storage. Stress hormones can also spike your appetite, making you likely to overeat or stress eat.

     4. PICK UP THE PROTEIN:

Cramming protein into every meal helps to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest. Aim for about 30 grams of protein — the equivalent of about one cup of low-fat cottage cheese or a four-ounce boneless chicken breast — at each meal.

  1. CHOOSE ORGANIC PRODUCE:

Researchers in Canada found that dieters with the most organochlorides (chemicals found in pesticides) stored in their fat cells were the most susceptible to disruptions in mitochondrial activity and thyroid function. Translation: Their metabolism stalled.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Improve the Quality and Quantity of Your Sleep to Feel and Perform Better

11 Mar

child-sleeping-with-stuffed-animal[1]At Athletic Performance Training Center, we believe there are 3 foundational “pillars” that support sports performance:

  • Sport-specific skill development
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Nutrition

And, since a well-rested athlete will generally outperform one who is not, you can add sleep to the list, as well.

Sleep is a vital component of good physical and mental health.  Research shows that 7-8 hours of quality sleep, per night, improves cognitive function and physical performance.  Fortunately, most of us have the ability to improve the quality of our sleep by making a few modifications to our diet and activity level.  Here are some tips:

Exercise

Daytime exercise can help you sleep more deeply and restfully at night. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that getting regular physical activity can actually help you fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of your sleep. If possible, exercise in the morning or during the day, since exercising at night can increase your energy levels and alertness, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

Adhere to a Sleep Schedule

Consistency is the key.  According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals who get up in the morning and go to bed at night around the same time every day find it easier to fall asleep at night.  Try to stick to a regular sleeping schedule as much as possible, even on the weekends.  When your sleep schedule changes, you throw off your body’s internal clock, making it harder to fall asleep at night, and/or harder to stay awake during the day.  Consider an alarm that reminds you to go to bed at night, just like an alarm to wake you in the morning.

Avoid Caffeine

Stimulants, such as drinks that contain caffeine — coffee, tea, and sodas — can keep you up at night.  Some experts believe you should not drink any beverage containing caffeine after noon.  Nicotine and alcohol should also be avoided when it gets closer to bedtime.  Avoiding stimulants, especially later in the day, will help you stay asleep longer without waking up at night so that you have a better quality of sleep.

Set Up Your Bedroom

You want your bedroom to be as relaxing as possible so that it’s easy for you to fall asleep without any distractions.  The bedroom should generally be cool, quiet, and dark.  Eye pillows, extra blankets, and ear plugs may help you sleep more deeply.  Although reading and watching television in bed are distracting for some people, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke actually recommends reading a book or watching the television in bed if your mind is racing when trying to fall asleep. Different things work for different people so it’s a good idea to try a little of everything to see what works best for you.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Caffeine Reduces Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness

9 Dec

Offduty: Caffine DrinksThere is considerable documentation touting the beneficial effects of caffeine on aerobic activity and resistance training performance.  Less, however, is known about caffeine’s effect on post-exercise muscle soreness.

A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of caffeine on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  In the study, individuals who ingested caffeine one hour before resistance training reported that this strategy “resulted in significantly lower levels of soreness on day 2 and day 3,” compared with individuals who did not ingest caffeine prior to working out.  (Hurley, et.al.)

The study corroborated previous findings that caffeine ingestion immediately before resistance training enhances performance.  “A further beneficial effect of sustained caffeine ingestion in the days after the exercise bout is an attenuation of DOMS.  This decreased perception of soreness in the days after a strenuous resistance training workout may allow individuals to increase the number of training sessions in a given time period.”

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Is 5-Hour Energy Worth It?

8 Nov

5-hour-energy[1]There’s a lot of marketing noise surrounding energy drinks. But should you partake if and when you want a little pick-me-up?

Yes and no, according to research. It appears that caffeine is responsible for virtually all the benefits of these energy drinks, including increased alertness and energy level. When caffeine is removed, the drinks’ other ingredients have little impact, say researchers.

Caffeine’s benefits are well-documented, and include:

  • Increased alertness and energy level
  • Improved cognitive function
  • A mild, mood-boosting effect
  • Improved exercise capacity

Ultimately, caffeine may help you think faster, exercise harder, and live longer. The next time you want a little caffeine-inspired jolt, stick with coffee. You’ll also benefit from its high levels of healthy antioxidants. If it’s got to be an energy drink, at least stay away from those that are loaded with sugar.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve the Quality and Quantity of Your Sleep to Feel and Perform Better

1 Mar

child-sleeping-with-stuffed-animal[1]At Athletic Performance Training Center, we believe there are 3 foundational “pillars” that support sports performance:

  • Sport-specific skill development
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Nutrition

And, since a well-rested athlete will generally outperform one who is not, you can add sleep to the list, as well.

Sleep is a vital component of good physical and mental health.  Research shows that 7-8 hours of quality sleep, per night, improves cognitive function and physical performance.  Fortunately, most of us have the ability to improve the quality of our sleep by making a few modifications to our diet and activity level.  Here are some tips:

Exercise

Daytime exercise can help you sleep more deeply and restfully at night. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that getting regular physical activity can actually help you fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of your sleep. If possible, exercise in the morning or during the day, since exercising at night can increase your energy levels and alertness, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

Adhere to a Sleep Schedule

Consistency is the key.  According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals who get up in the morning and go to bed at night around the same time every day find it easier to fall asleep at night.  Try to stick to a regular sleeping schedule as much as possible, even on the weekends.  When your sleep schedule changes, you throw off your body’s internal clock, making it harder to fall asleep at night, and/or harder to stay awake during the day.  Consider an alarm that reminds you to go to bed at night, just like an alarm to wake you in the morning.

Avoid Caffeine

Stimulants, such as drinks that contain caffeine — coffee, tea, and sodas — can keep you up at night.  Some experts believe you should not drink any beverage containing caffeine after noon.  Nicotine and alcohol should also be avoided when it gets closer to bedtime.  Avoiding stimulants, especially later in the day, will help you stay asleep longer without waking up at night so that you have a better quality of sleep.

Set Up Your Bedroom

You want your bedroom to be as relaxing as possible so that it’s easy for you to fall asleep without any distractions.  The bedroom should generally be cool, quiet, and dark.  Eye pillows, extra blankets, and ear plugs may help you sleep more deeply.  Although reading and watching television in bed are distracting for some people, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke actually recommends reading a book or watching the television in bed if your mind is racing when trying to fall asleep. Different things work for different people so it’s a good idea to try a little of everything to see what works best for you.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How Does Caffeine Affect Athletic Performance?

12 Nov

Caffeine mainly acts as a central nervous system stimulant.  The vast majority of competitive athletes consume it, with more than half consuming it for the purpose of enhancing performance.  The benefits of caffeine include increased work output, speed, arousal and focus, combined with reduced perceived exertion and fatigue.

Caffeine is found in foods like chocolate, soft drinks, coffee, and tea.  A typical cup of coffee contains about 120 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine’s Effect on Athletic Performance

  • Improves reaction time, alertness, and focus
  • Decreases the body’s reliance on muscle glycogen (stored energy)
  • Increases the body’s absorption and use of consumed carbohydrates
  • Prolongs endurance performance
  • May increase the threshold for pain and discomfort

Caffeine specifically benefits prolonged endurance performance.  Sports lasting longer than an hour with sustained effort will benefit more from players consuming caffeine than sports with short bursts and duration.  Endurance sports such as running, cycling, and cross-country skiing; high-intensity sports such as swimming and rowing; and team sports such as soccer and basketball all benefit from caffeine supplementation by allowing players to increase work production, speed, and accuracy.  Caffeine does not necessarily offer a performance-enhancing benefit for strength and power activities, such as resistance training.

Caffeine supplementation of 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight one hour before exercise is most effective.  The main drawback to caffeine is a potential diuretic effect, which could lead to dehydration, but caffeine does not increase fluid loss when consumed during exercise.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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