Mon, 08/20/2018 - 16:52
Caffeine…my one and only vice. Well, that and swearing. But, who says vices have to be bad for you? In fact, caffeine in the right dose and the right form can actually be really good for you – mentally and physically. The health benefits are numerous. From improving cognitive function and inhibiting Alzheimer’s to fending off pancreatic cancer and combatting type 2 diabetes the positives run the gamut. Plus, it’s a tremendous natural performance enhancer that allows you to maximize your workouts in the gym. And it even had a mild fat burning effect.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it provides short-term appetite suppression and stimulates the nervous system, resulting in a mild calorie burn. But this alone isn’t where it’s true fat burning potential lies. For caffeine to be most effective in the slimming department you have to combine it with exercise. As mentioned above, it dramatically enhances fitness performance because it lowers our perception of the intensity or difficulty of our efforts. Thus, we are able to exercise at a higher intensity for longer, without actually feeling like we are working harder. And of course the harder we work in the gym the more calories we burn during the workout and even hours after it’s over. Plus, Caffeine spares muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrates) and promotes fat storage as an energy source.
The key to constructive caffeine consumption is to consume no more than 400mg a day in two separate doses of 200mg a pop (equivalent to two strong cups of coffee). One when you first wake up and then another roughly 45 minutes before you exercise unless it’s past 3 in the afternoon. Be sure not to consume more than that amount because too much caffeine can have the opposite of our desired affect. It can tax adrenal glands, stress us out, release the belly fat hormone cortisol and disrupt sleep patterns. Bad, bad, bad. And, in general, anyone with anxiety, high blood pressure, or any other health related condition that is negatively affected by caffeine shouldn’t drink it.
One very critical component to caffeine consumption is your source of caffeine. If you get it in a pre workout you need to make sure there are no chemicals like fake flavors, colors and preservatives in the product. For me personally, I prefer a cold brew coffee that’s organic. The reason is because cold brew is healthier than hot brew. It maximizes the polyphenols and antioxidants in the coffee bean (so you get the good stuff and the caffeine) while minimizing all acids and tannins. As for organic, yes… it really matters. Especially when it comes to your coffee. This is because coffee is the second heaviest sprayed crop in the world - second only to cotton. So in order to avoid all those dangerous pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides opt for an organic cold brew! Lucky Jack is my favorite brand. So much so I invested in the company. So drink up, but no more than two strong cups a day!