Coffee is one of those drinks which a lot of people swear by and others are cautious about the amount of coffee they drink. As a personal trainer I wanted to shed some light on the advantages, risks and specifics about coffee and cafeine.
Advantages of Drinking Coffee
You can even find information that coffee can help you live longer (1,2,3,8). Main reasons were that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease and suicide. This only holds up if you drink your coffee black, because adding sugar gets you back in the dangers of type 2 diabetes and possibly cardiovascular diseases in the long run. There are now even researches showing that coffee can aid in burning fat and losing weight (4). The coffee appears to activate brown fat (which is the fat that generates energy by burning white fat [more about that in a future blogpost]).
Disadvantages and risks of Drinking Coffee
Of course it is important to rememeber that as with most things in life: moderation is key. As soon as you drink too much coffee, the disadvantages will negate the advantages of drinking a moderate amount of coffee (2). Coffee consumption should be moderate, so 1 to 2 cups per day (3). In order to have your sleep in order, it is also necessary to stay away from caffeinated beverages after 16:00. Your sleep should be on point so that you do not need coffee to make it through the day (see also Sleep the Underestimated Training Aspect)
Specifics of Drinking Coffee
As mentioned above, it is best to drink coffee in moderation, not after 16:00… But there is also a compound in coffee, called cafestol, which elevates cholesterol. (5) The lucky thing is actually that paper filters filter this substance from the coffee. So it is also better to drink coffee that went through a paper filter, rather than a French Press or a type as generally referred to as “Turkish coffee”.
The caffeine in coffee can be useful as a stimulant before a training session. When you drink coffee in moderation and your body is not used to high quantities of caffeine, a cup of coffee will be a stimulant for your central nervous system (6,8) and can improve your aerobic endurance performance (7).
So overall it is very beneficial for you to consume a moderate amount of coffee. If you feel that you need more coffee to make it through the day, you should review your sleeping habits. It also is important to look into the method you make the coffee: a paper filter reduces some unwanted side effects.
I hope I managed to give you some more clarity on the specifics, advantages and risks of coffee. Hopefully you will manage to implement this in your routine. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment or get in touch through the Contact Page.
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- NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition