Coffee is not often thought of as a health food, but it can actually maximize the effectiveness of one’s daily workouts. There are limits to how much coffee before cardio exercise is healthy, however.
Research shows that most people should not consume more than one small cup of coffee before exercising. The energy boost that a small amount of caffeine provides before a major athletic event is so significant that nutritionists recommend abstaining from coffee for a while beforehand so that the effect is more pronounced on the important day.
Caffeine begins to kick in about a half hour after it is consumed, so the coffee should be drunk well before the workout starts. Pre-workout coffee should be consumed along with a small healthy snack that contains complex carbohydrates. Some examples of such foods are oatmeal and pasta. A sports drink that contains caffeine can be substituted for coffee, but one should avoid canned energy drinks that do not provide additional nutrients or exercise aids.
It is a myth that coffee causes dehydration, so there is no need to consume a lot of water to account for lost fluids. In fact, drinking too much water before a workout can disrupt the exercise routine. It is acceptable to consume more or less caffeine depending on body mass and tolerance level. Someone who does not habitually drink coffee should start with a very small cup a half hour before her workout and see if she feels any benefits from having done so. An individual who already drinks coffee daily can continue to drink the amount to which she has been accustomed, but she should time it so that her workout follows soon afterward.
Coffee itself has no calories, but cream and sugar can add up to 200 calories to each cup. Fat-free and soy creamers are good alternatives, as are sugar substitutes. Some form of cream should be added to the coffee, since drinking it black can cause stomach troubles, especially before intense physical activity. There are many low-calorie creamers that also act as light flavored sweeteners.
Drinking coffee does not have to be simply a way to acquire more energy. It can also be a small hobby on its own. Many people enjoy experimenting with different coffee blends and brew strengths and of course the Coffee Nut Hut is a great place to fimd green, organic and roasted coffee brands from great roasters like Cameron’s Coffee, Kicking Horse Coffee and Coffee Beans Direct. Caffeine from coffee is a natural source of energy, so it comes as no surprise that it can contribute to healthy workouts.