By now we have heard the story of Kaldi, the goatherd who discovered coffee. While it might not be true, I’ve heard he was a distance runner who drank coffee before workouts. People always wondered why he was so quick, had such good endurance, and always seemed ready to do it again. Well why did everybody else start drinking coffee? They wanted to be like Kaldi! How so? Well not only could he exercise better than everyone, he was quick witted and always in a great mood. Let’s face it; Kaldi was cool, and although he may not get the credit, he started the health/workout drink craze.
It’s true that coffee has diuretic properties, but it’s ability to hydrate is not compromised. It should also be noted that habitual consumption of coffee tends to diminish the diuretic effect. Researchers at the University of Birmingham U.K. studied a sample of 50 men, who had a daily consumption of 3-6 cups of coffee. The two phase study compared a mostly coffee based hydration, with that of an only water based intake. The findings indicated no difference in hydration. I just wonder how badly the study participants wanted their coffee back during the water trial. So the bottom line is you need your total daily water intake to be 2.7 liters (women) / 3.7 liters (men). With the knowledge that coffee counts like water, I’m on my way to make a pour-over now.
Think of antioxidants as the bodyguards who take care of the trouble so the party goes on without problems. Free radicals are the troublemakers who just need an electron to chill out. Antioxidants provide the electron and keep the party going, like a good mix-tape. If you didn’t know, coffee is filled with tons of antioxidants. Nearly 80% of antioxidants in the Western diet come from beverages. So it’s no news flash that coffee, as popular as it is, provides many people with their main source of antioxidants. One consideration of this is a study published in The Journal of Medicinal Foods: A comparison of caffeine content and antioxidant concentration relative to roast levels. The roasts that were studied were light, medium, City and French Roast style. The outcome of the Korean study was that caffeine content varies only slightly, but antioxidants were more prevalent in lighter roasts. If you’re interested in medicinal coffee, it’s worth noting the study used espresso machine extracts for testing.
We’ve all felt the effects of caffeine from our first cup of coffee in the morning, but do you know how much caffeine is in that cup? Or better yet, do you know how little caffeine is in that cup? There are only 14o mg of caffeine in a 12 ounce cup of coffee. That’s .005 ounces out of 12, a testament to caffeine’s potency. For an edge, world class athletes drink coffee before a workout to improve their performance. They feel it makes it easier to exercise longer and stronger with less pain and fatigue. The University of Illinois conducted a study that found a significant reduction in quadriceps muscle pain when caffeine was introduced to participants. Another point of interest is that caffeine makes muscles burn fat more quickly and efficiently. Coupled with a prolonged uptick in metabolism which aids in burning calories, coffee can help in weight loss. If this is not vindication for a cup of coffee before your workout, what is? Coffee’s mood enhancers also help you power through a workout when you might otherwise opt out. Researchers have found that consumption prior to a workout led to a drop in caloric intake later without any increase in cravings. By enjoying two cups of coffee a half hour before your workout, you can enjoy your favorite beverage and improve the results of your workout. Now you know how Kaldi did it!
Was that the sound of the mic dropping as I walk off stage?
Happy New Year, and may your blessings be bountiful and far ranging.