Written by By Shannon Sweeney
I've never been a morning person. So when my friend asked me to do morning workouts with her, I begrudgingly said yes. But getting up at 5:30 a.m. and dragging myself out of bed to go work out is no easy task.
I think working out is extremely important, but motivation can be hard. I was always the kind of person who needed some sort of push when it came to working out — it's why I played sports growing up. If a coach tells me to run three miles, I'll do it. If it's up to me to do it on my own, it's not going to happen.
So when I stopped playing sports, I was lost when it came to drumming up that motivation to stay in shape. But who knew that my answer was brewing in my coffee pot all along.
I decided to drink Death Wish Coffee — with no cream or sugar — before working out. And it's the coach I need to get me to the gym. I had more energy, it increased my performance, and I felt focused and ready to take on the day afterward. I drank water before I worked out too, which helped me stay hydrated.
If you're looking for an all natural way to get you pumped up for the gym, look no further than your coffee pot. Coffee strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the perception of pain and increases fatty acids in the blood, which supports endurance. For best results, drink coffee 30 to 60 minutes before working out. Here's why you should drink coffee before you work out:
1. It increases performance
According to Sports Medicine, caffeine before a workout helps athletes "train at a greater power output and/or train longer." For me, this couldn't be more true. Instead of praying for morning cardio to be over, I found myself running faster for longer periods of time.
2. It accelerates fat loss
Coffee has a ton of fat-burning properties — if you leave the extra additives out. When it's consumed before exercise, it can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source as opposed to glycogen. It'll also increase your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. I can't speak to this just yet — I've only been drinking coffee before working out for a week or two, but I'll get back to you.
3. It improves focus
Black coffee helps you improve your mental focus, keeping you productive and effective during your workouts — and beyond! I felt extremely focused on what I needed to do before heading to work, and felt even better throughout the day.
4. It helps decrease muscle pain
Thee University of Georgia found that a moderate dose of caffeine (around two cups of coffee) reduced post-workout pain by up to 48 percent, which makes sense because caffeine is a main ingredient in a lot of pain relievers. It's still important to stretch after you work out and to take care of your body, but it's just further proof that coffee is magic.
5. It keeps you healthy
Coffee has tons of antioxidants, and can help you prevent certain forms of cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, and liver disease. So in addition to helping you exercise better, it's helping with your overall physical health.
So no matter if you're an athlete looking to up your training, or someone like me who is just trying to stay healthy, try coffee before you work out! And if you're looking for a few different pre-workout recipes, we've got you covered.