Whenever I start with a new client it is inevitable that I will be asked, “Will I have to stop drinking coffee and alcohol to improve my health?” Much to my clients’ surprise, my answer is, “no, I would never take coffee or wine away from anyone let alone a parent!” At MBX we’re trying to improve your health and wellness, not make you lose your mind—LOL! With all the contradictory information regarding caffeine and your health, it’s hard to believe that there are actual health and fitness benefits to drinking coffee. Many studies have shown that coffee can be a great added source to your physical conditioning and wellbeing. Here are some clinically proven benefits to drinking coffee:
Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels because it contains caffeine, which is a central nervous system stimulant and is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. When you drink coffee, caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, it travels into the brain where the caffeine binds to your brain’s adenosine receptors, preventing the chemical from binding with the receptors that make us feel tired. In addition, caffeine prevents dopamine (your feel-good chemical) from being reabsorbed into your system, leaving it hanging around in your brain longer and leaving you feeling great longer!
Have you ever noticed that caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement? There’s a good reason for that— caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that has actually been proven to aid in fat burning. This is because caffeine has a thermogenic effect, which means it increases both lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and thermogenesis (calorie burning) for a period of time after ingestion. Several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by up to 15%. In addition, caffeine stimulates the nervous system, causing it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat. It then releases them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel! So when you drink coffee before exercise, it can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source as opposed to glycogen—which means having coffee before you exercise can enhance the fat burning effect! Not only that, the high amounts of caffeine in coffee increases metabolism, which in turn makes you burn more calories throughout the day. So go ahead and slurp up that cup of Joe before your workout!
This is my favorite reason! If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I do not ingest ANYTHING that does not contain some sort of nutrient for my body! You might be surprised to learn that coffee is more than just brown water. Many of the nutrients found in coffee beans do make it into the final drink. A single cup of coffee contains:
Vitamin B2 breaks down proteins into amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates in the form of glucose. This helps convert nutrients from your food into usable bodily energy, which helps maintain a healthy metabolism.
Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in all living cells within the body and like the other B-vitamins, vitamin B5 plays a role in energy metabolism, acting as a coenzyme to energy-producing chemical reactions. In addition, some of the added health benefits of B5 include the alleviation of conditions like asthma, hair loss, allergies, stress and anxiety, respiratory disorders, and heart problems.
Manganese is important in connective tissues, in the formation of bones and blood-clotting factors, and is also involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation (which we at MBX firmly believe in!) And Potassium, an essential macronutrient, is important in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in our bodies. Studies have shown a high potassium intake reduces the risk of overall mortality by 20 percent. It also decreases the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, protects against loss of muscle mass, preserves bone mineral density, and reduces the formation of kidney stones.
Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. And Niacin, among many other benefits, can: improve cholesterol levels, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, help treat diabetes, maintain healthy skin, support proper brain function, help with joint mobility and help treat arthritis.
Drinking coffee before a workout can have tremendous benefits. Studies have shown that two cups of coffee ingested 45 to 90 minutes before a workout resulted in an increase in energy, leading to a boost in workout performance. Like I mentioned above, caffeine’s effects on the central nervous system helps counteract fatigue while it increases adrenaline and the release of dopamine, which makes exercise feel more enjoyable and less strenuous.
So no, you don’t have to quit coffee in order to improve your health. But like everything else, you should drink coffee in moderation.
Although my blog topics can be very beneficial to your overall health, they are not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information on or through my website, blog, e-mails, programs and services. However, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of diet, fitness and health research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.