(So far my favorite coffee is “Costa Rican Tarrazu” from Mazzaro’s in St. Petersburg, FL. Coming in at second place is “Guatemala” from Stauf”s in Columbus, OH)
Utilizing The Natural Caffeine Prior To Exercise Boosts Fat Loss
I have frequently stated how beneficial it is to work out on an empty stomach. Exercising in a fasted state does wonders for burning stubborn body fat. Well, did you know that 1-2 cups of coffee prior to exercise can increase your metabolism by 15-20%? It first gives you a calorie free surge of energy to initiate your workout. This is especially helpful for those who exercise early in the morning. It also triggers the body to increase the flow of free fatty acids from fat stores. So your body will use both the caffeine and stubborn fat as energy as opposed to “food energy.”
Caffeine Can Help Increase Muscle Tone But Not Size
We know that persistent, hard, muscle contractions, is what causes true muscle tone. We also know that muscle density has more to do with the nervous system than actually lifting weights. Since caffeine stimulates the nervous system, drinking coffee before a workout will increase the “positive” signals to the muscles. This will help you make harder contractions when lifting heavier weights, thus creating more dense and defined muscles. If you want to gain mass and not density, caffeine may inhibit those gains. The reasoning is that too much caffeine in the system has been known to reduce glucose uptake. This can be a problem if you are looking for post workout nutrition to begin the muscle repairing/building process. So if you want to gain a lot of mass, you may want to skip out on caffeine.
The Quality Of Coffee Is Of Utmost Importance
When most people think of drinking coffee it is typically combined with added milk, creamer, sugar, or flavored syrups. So when I speak of drinking coffee before a workout or just in general, it should be understood that I am talking about whole, fresh, organic, and pesticide-free coffee. This is very important because most commercial grade coffee beans are one of the most pesticide contaminated crops available. The packed and ground beans that you typically get from the store have rancid oils and are usually a degraded bean. Caffeine that comes from a “whole food” source is a lot healthier than that of a synthetic source. Synthetic caffeine doesn’t provide the healthy antioxidants that are needed for the body to utilize the effects properly.
How To Know If You Have A Good Bean
A good coffee bean whether it is roasted or freshly ground should have a pleasant smell and taste. If the coffee tastes stale or with a strong bite and doesn’t have a pleasing aroma, you more than likely have coffee that is rancid. Coffee in this state is completely useless and lacks the natural flavanoid antioxidants and proper nutrients. This is why buying organic, pesticide-free, whole beans are the best. It is a night and day difference in taste.
(My name is Andy…your name is liar because you’re telling lies! ahahah)
There Are Some Con’s To Caffeine Consumption
1) Since some people tend to take things to extremes, I wanted to make sure that 1-2 cups of coffee before a workout is plenty and 2-3 cups of coffee on non workout days is fine. You don’t want to be drinking a whole pot a day. I fell in that trap during college.
2) Pregnant women should avoid caffeine of all sorts. Consuming only 2 cups of coffee can cause complications during pregnancy. This also goes for people with adrenal problems.
3) Once again, synthetic caffeine can be harmful. It can actually have addictive properties. This is why a lot of people have a hard time giving up soda. The strong combination of sugar and caffeine wreaks havoc on the body. But caffeine is very beneficial when it comes from real, “whole food.”
(Your body can handle the caffeine if it is whole, fresh, organic coffee, because it doesn’t hit your system the way synthetic caffeine does.)
Some Final Thoughts
Remember, drinking coffee before a workout is only helpful when it is consumed black. Adding milk and/or sugar defeats the whole purpose. If fat loss is your goal try to make sure you begin exercising on an empty stomach. That means you will want to make sure you haven’t consumed anything 4-5 hours prior. You want your body to use fat as fuel and not food. This is why I think coffee is one of the best pre workout drinks. It contains natural caffeine to give you a burst of energy, antioxidants, and a primed nervous system all without the calories.
Note: If you have had some exceptionally good coffee please let me know where you got it and what kind. I love checking out local coffee shops. Maybe later I will make a list of the top places by state. Let the comments roll!