The hardest part of working out can often be just getting the energy and motivation to get to the gym. If you’re like me, the thought of getting up to go before work is out of the question. And, after a long day or work my energy is drained and the last thing I want to do is drive to the gym to exercise for another hour before going home. But, I’ve found that an afternoon cup of coffee gives me the energy and motivation to not only get to the gym, but enhance my performance during my workout.
The positive effects of caffeine on enhancing performance are well documented. There are numerous studies showing how caffeine helps both endurance activities and high intensity, short term exercise as well. The vast majority of these studies have shown that caffeine does enhance performance and makes the effort feel easier. Some studies have shown an increase in performance of more than eight percent.
From my own trials, I have found that I do feel like I am able to run at a faster pace on the treadmill without as much effort. When using the weight machines I see a difference in my ability to lift heavier amounts of weights. On the days I’ve skipped the afternoon cup of coffee I lack the motivation to get to the gym. If I do motivate myself to get there and workout I have a much more lethargic feeling and decreased performance during my workout routine.
I am by no means an exercise or health professional. I’m just trying to stay in shape while I juggle work and family on a hectic schedule. The evidence for caffeine enhancing physical performance is not new or earth shattering. My experience is just a testament to how caffeine has given me the energy to keep up my workout routine. It not only helps me feel motivated to go to the gym, but helps me get more out of my workout when I’m there.
If you are considering using coffee to help your workout routine there are a few tips that may help get you started:
Drink a concentrated form of caffeine, such as an espresso. This keeps you from being bloated with too much liquid right before exercising.
Drink the coffee about 1 hour before starting your workout. This gives the caffeine time to get in your system and be at peak levels during exercise.
Drink plenty of water during the day leading up to your workout to ensure you have well hydrated.