Caffeine is very prevalent in the fitness industry. Everyone is either drinking an energy drink or taking a caffeinated pre-workout supplement before they train.
This article will discuss the benefits of caffeine and let you know if it’s worth taking before you exercise.
Does Coffee Help Muscle Growth?
Coffee itself has no direct effect on muscle gain. However, it does allow you to work out harder and for longer, breaking down more muscle fibers and leading to increased muscle growth.
Coffee and Nutrition
One of the huge benefits of coffee on fitness is the fact that it is zero calories. When trying to eat healthier, using a drink that has low calories is very helpful. Whether you are trying to bulk or cut, coffee can easily be added to your diet.
Plain coffee by itself contains very low calories at about 2 calories per 8-ounce cup. A teaspoon of sugar adds 16 calories and a teaspoon of milk adds 2 calories.
By itself, coffee has zero calories. Calories are added when milk or sugar is added. Espresso coffee is more concentrated and can contain up to 20 calories per serving.
Low-calorie sweeteners contain fewer calories than sugar. They are increasingly popular for those wishing to watch their weight. Splenda packets that contain sucralose are about 3 calories.
Sweeteners are a great way to make coffee taste sweeter while keeping the calories and sugar content relatively low. These are usually used by those wishing to lose weight or watch their sugar intake.
Benefits of Coffee for Muscle Gain
Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, increasing the firing of neurons and the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. By waking the user and increasing the feeling of awareness, they can go harder in the gym.
Building more muscle in the gym is related to fat loss, and the more muscle on the body, the more body fat that it naturally burns. The extra energy boost from caffeine can also be used to do cardio for longer periods, burning more fat, which is why caffeine is very popular in pre-workout supplements.
Caffeine increases basal metabolic rate, which is the rate your body burns calories at rest. A study showed that those who drank coffee over two months had greater metabolites in their body. These help the metabolism to burn more calories during the day.
Coffee itself does not have any effect on muscle gain. But it does make you train harder and for longer periods of time.
Coffee has proven to reduce fatigue while exercising, allowing you to work out through pain and tiredness. Caffeine was even shown to make marathon runners run faster when taking 3mg per kilogram of body weight.
Caffeine should be taken an hour before training and the dosage should stay below 9mg per kilogram of body weight. Excessive caffeine results in insomnia, shakes, and sickness.
Coffee & Weight Gain
Some people argue that caffeine may actually lead to weight gain. That’s because if someone is consuming more calories than their body burns, they are gaining weight. High-calorie coffee drinks with lots of extra cream and sugar can cause this.
Since it is a drink rather than food, people don’t think about the sugar or calories they are consuming. Decide your daily calorie count and fit in your coffee appropriately.
Another factor to consider is the effect that caffeine has on sleep. Taking caffeine before bed results in lost sleep. Not getting adequate sleep leads to weight gain. Only have coffee in the morning or afternoons to combat this.
Caffeine may decrease insulin sensitivity. Caffeine also messes with cortisol levels which can lead to weight gain. Caffeine elevates cortisol levels which cause the body to store belly fat.
Coffee is linked to an increase in sugar cravings. It can also alter taste buds, making food and drinks taste less sweet. This causes the body to crave more sweets.
Drinking coffee first thing in the morning can lead to overeating later in the day. This is because of caffeine’s appetite suppressant properties which can aid in weight loss.
Coffee and Weight Loss
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends signals to fat cells and breaks them down. Epinephrine or adrenaline assists this process. Coffee also suppresses appetite by reducing the hormone that is associated with hunger, Ghrelin.
Caffeine targets brown adipose tissue in the body, which is the fat that burns calories. By stimulating this tissue, more fat is burned throughout the day.
Caffeine reduces water retention in the body. Water retention or edema is swelling that happens when the body holds onto fluids. The body is unable to store caffeine and excretes it through urination.
Caffeine has a diuretic effect. This means it helps the body alleviate water retention when there is an increased output of fluids. Caffeine also promotes thermogenesis which causes the body to sweat more and release more fluids.
Losing these fluids prevents water retention, which leads to bloating and weight gain.
Healthy Ways to Incorporate Coffee
The healthiest way to drink coffee is black as it has the lowest amount of calories and zero sugar. If black coffee is a little too extreme, there are still ways to enjoy your coffee in a healthy manner.
Purchasing a coffee maker and making your own coffee at home is much healthier than you can control what you put into it. When eating out, inspect the nutrition facts of the coffee you are getting.
Plant, nut-based, or coconut milk does not contain as much fat and calories as regular milk. Nonfat milk is another option. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cacao are healthy ways to increase flavor while keeping the sugar and fat content low so that you can meet your fitness goals.
Consider any other caffeinated beverages or supplements you are using, such as energy drinks or workout supplements.
Should you use a pre-workout supplement? See here.
Coffee is a very popular drink that over 60% of people drink daily. With caffeine being such a prevalent ingredient, it is important to consider the effects it has on health. The benefits of caffeine make it desirable to drink in order to reach fitness goals. As long than you aren’t drinking an excessive amount of drinking it before bed, it can assist your training.
Leave any questions or comments below and I’ll get back to you!