Coffee offers a number of benefits. One of them is its impact on athletic performance. There´s plenty to say about coffee and sport, and in the following lines we´ve brought together some advice and information for those who - like you - wish to learn more (absolutely normal, since staying fit is essential for our health).
What is caffeine for?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of caffeine and sport, we should first understand the role of caffeine. Caffeine belongs to the group of chemical substances known as purines, and has a number of effects on the body.
Specifically, we should mention its ability to facilitate increased blood flow to the heart. Caffeine can also increase cardiac output. In non-medical terms, this means it can optimise the blood flow to the various tissues of our bodies.
Following its absorption, we can also note an increase in systolic pressure, not to mention boosting the metabolic rate and lipolysis.
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The effects of caffeine
What are the effects of caffeine? In addition to the aforementioned effects, we can state its ability to facilitate the use of fat cells as fuel for the organism. This happens for a specific reason. What? Its ability to block the action of adenosine receptors - also known as P1 receptors, in the adipose cells.
This actually has a lipolytic effect, meaning that caffeine can activate the chemical process that breaks down lipids.
As mentioned, this substance can boost the metabolism and it is often included as an ingredient in products to reduce cellulite.
Read also: The coffee plant: from cultivation to harvest.
Caffeine and sports performance
After this useful introduction, we can take a closer look at the role of caffeine in sports performance. In the following paragraphs, we´ll see how the alkaloid we´re discussing can impact performance in sports.
What are the beneficial effects of caffeine in sports performance?
Regarding coffee and sports, we can list a number of benefits. Which, specifically? First and foremost, we should consider caffeine´s ability to reduce our perception of the physical fatigue which naturally occurs when we practise a sport.
What´s more, thanks to its effects on the adenosine receptors, the alkaloid we´re discussing can have a calming effect on the neurones. What implications does this have on sports performance? Several. The main effect is the activation of motor neurones, which actually results in improved muscular strength and resistance.
Continuing with the benefits of caffeine in sport, it´s worth mentioning its capacity to encourage the synthesis of adrenaline. This hormone affects the contraction of the heart muscle and helps the flow of oxygen to the muscles.
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How long does caffeine stay in the body?
By its nature, a discussion of caffeine and sports performance should mention how long caffeine remains in the body. Bear in mind that caffeine reaches its peak effectiveness some 45 minutes after consumption (we´re talking about adults here).
It stays in circulation for a period of 2.5 to 4.5 hours, before being eliminated in the urine. The exact duration is linked to several factors, including the metabolic rate of the individual.
How many coffees can I drink during training?
How many coffees can I drink during training? This question has only one answer: it depends. There are actually a number of factors in play, and the best advice is to ask your doctor.
But you can also take general information from some of the scientific evidence that has emerged in recent years. This includes the results of a study conducted by a team of experts at the University of Georgia. The researchers discovered that, following the consumption of a small amount of coffee - approximately two cups - before a workout, there is a noticeable reduction - about 48% - in post-training pain.
This result is not surprising since, as you may know, caffeine is an ingredient in many analgesic drugs.
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Diet and caffeine
When discussing caffeine in terms of improved sports performance, we should remember that its effects can be optimised by more than the classic cup of coffee. In fact there are several sources of caffeine which can be included in our diet. One of these is tea. This beverage is characterised by a caffeine content of approximately 28 mg/150 ml.
And we should also mention cacao, the food of the gods. In this case, the caffeine content is 100 mg per 100 g
Lastly, there´s guaraná, with between 40 and 120 mg of caffeine in every gramme.
The verdict is that caffeine, when not taken to excess, can be really valuable for athletic performance. If you´d like to make it a feature of your dietary habits, check out our products and you´ll find a number of solutions.
Caffè Corsini is one of Italy´s oldest coffee roasters and a pioneer in the success of coffee in the Bel Paese, and offers a range of attractive options. From a wide range of ground coffees, including ginseng, ideal for preparation in a moka pot or an espresso machine, to coffee beans with their intoxicating roasted aroma, you´re truly spoilt for choice.
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