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Ask Lance: Coffee!

Posted Nov 29 2008 12:27pm
Buzz worthy?

Jason, New York City:Great Blog! Can we clone you? I need a good trainer here in New York. We live in a caffeine-crazed society. I notice people drinking coffee before, during, and after workouts. I also indulge in a daily dose, usually only a cup. Is caffeine a detriment to a workout or could it be a positive? I've also heard coffee contains beneficial anti-oxidants. Is this true?

Hi Jason,
I'll have a Tall Iced Mocha - Caramel - Apple - Macchiato - Frappuccinno with a dash of cinnamon, extra vanilla, whipped cream, a cherry on top, a little umbrella, two straws, one S plenda, and a partridge and a pear tree! Here are three things that come to mind when asked this question:
  1. Effect on exercise performance. Caffeine does show to have an influence on short-term and endurance activities. Drinking a cup of joe may prove to enhance your weight training or cardio session.

  2. PossibleDiuretic effect. Like alcohol, caffeine is adiuretic. Which means that it ultimately dehydrates the body. Dehydration impairs exercise performance because the contractile proteins of your muscle cells become stuck together. Having water in your muscle cells is necessary to keep them in optimal position. If you have only one cup and have been drinking enough water throughout the day you should be in the clear.

  3. Calories.If you can't spell or pronounce your coffee, you shouldn't drink it! There is most likely hidden calories, sugar, and fat. Remember keep it simple, black coffee.

    Lance's Bottom line: Caffeine is a double edged sword, so don't rely on it as the magic pill. If your energy is a little low on a particular day it may serve as a good boost for your workout. Keep a water bottle with you and switch off sips of the java and agua! As far as the anti-oxidant content of caffeine, I'd prefer you have a light snack prior to exercising with one of the following
    foodsfor a pick me up!
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