As a runner I have always used the electrolyte gels/chews with caffeine and had a cup of coffee before a race, but does it help? According to many it does, although the amount needed varies from 1 mg-6 mg/kg body weight, but the agreement is that any amount will help an athlete to go further and faster (Source). Not only does coffee help athletic performance but also overall health; improving memory and metabolism and decreasing the risk for diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson's, gout, cancer and depression (Source).
My take on coffee
- Not only does it taste great, but what is better than the smell of fresh brewed coffee
- 1-2 cups 1+ hour prior to a workout is enough to keep me going, prevent the caffeine headache
- For a longer run I add in 1 additional caffeine source in the form of a gel or chew
- Limit the caffeine during a workout to prevent excessive heart rate increase
- After a long workout a coffee is perfect recovery
Last week my daughter was watching Sesame Street and once again coffee caught my attention. I looked over to see an entire segment discussing coffee and the variations. Starting the kids a little early?!