Can Caffeine Have a Negative Impact on Your Workout?

coffee variations

Caffeine is subject to the most amount of research when it comes to health and fitness. Many athletes and sports performers use this substance to improve their performance during workouts. This is why, coffee, or more specifically black coffee, is a widely used pre-workout beverage. Many people resort to this drink before they exercise because it enhances their energy levels and gets them ready to execute explosive movements in the gym.

However, coffee can also have its fair share of setbacks along with the positives. Just like how it can boost your workout potential, it can alternatively disturb it as well. Below, this article will discuss a topic that is contrary to the popular belief that puts caffeine is one of the beneficial consumption options while working out.

The disadvantage of Caffeine Intake before Workout

The best and most popular source of caffeine is a cup of coffee. Many gym fanatics will tell you that coffee is the absolute best thing you can consume before you head to the gym. However, the fact of the matter is that coffee may also be an obstacle in your efforts to work out to your full potential.  

Slows Digestion

When you are exercising, your muscles are undergoing some level of resistance. Your body recognizes the efforts that you are trying to make, and for the muscles to withhold the resistance, the body speeds up the blood flow to the specific muscle group.

Since blood circulation is more towards the muscles when exercising, this results in the blood flow redirecting from the digestive system. This can ultimately slow down digestion in the human body and cause disruptions in the stomach when you are working out. For people that already have pre-existing issues with their stomach, loading up on caffeine before a workout is therefore not a good option.

To overcome this issue, a person can either keep an empty stomach before working out or, consume caffeine beverages at least an hour before the workout. This gives your body enough time to absorb and utilize the caffeine. You can also control the volume of your caffeine intake by lowering the doses.

For instance, instead of consuming a large cup of copy, you can opt for espresso shots instead. Espresso shots are a great alternative since they can provide you a good amount of caffeine in a low volume of liquid.

Caffeine Sensitivity

However, all of these techniques are useless for people that have a caffeine sensitivity. Caffeine affects differently on each individual. Some have a good tolerance for this substance, while others don’t. People that are sensitive to caffeine will experience unwanted effects of the drug. These symptoms may range from abdominal pain, jitters, anxiety to a rapid increase in heart rate.

If you notice any of these symptoms after coffee intake, then you may have to rethink caffeine as a part of your pre-workout meal. On the other hand, if you are someone that only slightly experiences these symptoms but benefit from the rush of blood that coffee provides, then it is advisable that you limit your dosage instead of eradicating it completely.  

Disrupts Sleep Pattern

Excessive caffeine intake also leads to problems such as sleep deprivation and can be a leading cause of insomnia. Having a full cycle of sleep can be instrumental for your workouts. Alternatively, if you attack your workout routine while sleep deprived, you are likely to notice a drastic decline in your performance.  

Caffeine carries a half-life of about 5 hours. Hence, your best bet would be to consume the caffeinated beverage at least 6 hours before you go to bed. By doing so, you can rid yourself of the troubles of falling asleep. Not having enough sleep will not only hamper your performance but also impact your gains from working out.

After you workout, especially in the case of weight lifting, you tend to break down muscle tissue so that it can grow and recovery. While you are sleeping, your body goes under the recovery stage, and this is when your body heals muscle tissue by building more tissue on top of the sore muscles. As a result, this helps you increase your strength, and gain more muscle tissue.

Without adequate sleep, you will disrupt your recovery stage, which is one of the most important aspects of working out. Ultimately, cutting down on caffeine can help you achieve workout results faster because it will allow you to recover faster due to a good night’s sleep.

Types of Coffee

Despite the fact that some coffees tend to support athletic performance, most of them are often high in carbohydrates and sugar. Even though these components can be great for acquiring pre-workout energy, there is also a chance that it loads you up with more calories than you need, which in turn makes all of your workouts useless.

People that resort to coffee or caffeinated beverages that include flavorings, sugar, milk, cream, or other such edibles are actually doing more harm than good. These will not only impact your efforts to stay at a caloric deficit, (considering that you wish to lose weight) but they can also affect your workout potential. 

Having a beverage that sits heavy on your stomach can make you slow and lazy when working out.

To Conclude

Caffeine classifies as a drug that in high concentrations can also be very potent and threatening to health. Similarly, in the right amounts and frequency, it can be nutritionally fulfilling, and contribute vastly to a person’s endurance.

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