Editor’s Note: This article is not intended as medical advice, rather it is a summary of research. Please consult with your physician before beginning any new diet, physical regimen, or other health routine to make sure that it is safe for you.
Many swimmers struggle with staying focused and staying concentrated during swim practice. This is one of the reasons why coaches get frustrated with their athletes, but who can blame the swimmers? So many things are going on that it can be hard for them to stay focused. Not to worry, there is a simple solution: caffeine!
Caffeine has had a bad reputation for sometime now. But what people overlook is the positive effects it can have, how it can help you get through practice, and how help your overall performance in the water. The health benefits of caffeine are wide and it’s role in fitness is just starting to get notice.
Caffeine is actually called 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine. It provides Vitamin B to help produce energy, Vitamin B5 to help the body use fats and proteins, and Manganese which helps control blood sugar. It also contains Magnesium which help keep blood pressure even, Potassium which is essential to your heart and kidneys, and Niacin that can help cholesterol levels.
Coffee provides a boost to the brain by temporarily increasing focus and concentration. This can lead to increased learning. It can also help with fitness for those who work out. There are many risks associated with taking pre workout and fat burners, but those who are looking for a more natural way to have a burst of energy can drink a shot of espresso or just have a coffee for a natural boost. Caffeine can increase stamina during practice and can increase adrenaline which can lead to a better practice.
As well as increasing energy, studies have shown how caffeine can increase the fat burning in the body. Along with increased fat burning, it can break down fat as well. Plus, the effects of caffeine can last up to 6 hours after ingestion which means these fat burning benefits last a while. After a hard swim practice, caffeine has been shown to decrease post work out pain by up to 48% in athletes.
Sometimes though, powdered caffeine, which comes from the coffee bean, can be added to many other products, including fat burners and pre-work out drinks. While thats okay, most of these products contain many other ingredients that are unhealthy. That’s why turning to coffee can be the more safe and natural way to get the benefits the athletes want.
The daily recommended limit of coffee is about 4.7 cups of drip coffee which equals about 400mg of caffeine. Anything over that limit could interfere with sleep patterns or give the drinker a jittery feeling. So be carful about the consumption of coffee because too much will only make you frantic, not focused. So next time you drink your cup of joe just remember all the good things it’s doing for your body and what it will do for your practice. When thinking about energy for work outs always look for a more natural solution like straight black coffee to get you through. And, when you can, buy organic or drink organic coffee. Delicious and beneficial, this drink makes it to the top of our fitness drink list.
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- Acheson, Kevin J., Gérard Gremaud, Isabelle Meirim, Franck Montigon, Yves Krebs, Laurent B. Fay, Louis-Jean Gay, Philippe Schneiter, Charles Schindler, and Luc Tappy. “Metabolic Effects of Caffeine in Humans: Lipid Oxidation or Futile Cycling?” Metabolic Effects of Caffeine in Humans: Lipid Oxidation or Futile Cycling? N.p., Sept. 2015. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.
- Doherty, M., and P. M. Smith. “Effects of Caffeine Ingestion on Rating of Perceived Exertion during and after Exercise: A Meta-analysis.” – Doherty. N.p., Apr. 2005. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.