With caffeine as a workout enhancer, is it possible to find balance between a plain, black coffee and indulgent, specialty lattes and coffee drinks?
Hit House co-owner and coffee enthusiast Dana VanPamelen wants to know.
As a coffee lover, I was excited to read scientific data that shows a connection between caffiene intake and exercise performance. (To be honest, our kickboxing studio is located in Nolita, NYC, surrounded by delicious cafes - so I was going to drink it anyways.) Here are some of the positive effects of consuming caffeine before a workout:
Increased Energy Levels: Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help boost your energy, making you feel more alert and ready for physical activity.
Improved Endurance: Caffeine may enhance endurance by reducing perceived effort, allowing you to exercise for longer periods without feeling as fatigued.
Enhanced Focus and Concentration: Caffeine can improve mental focus, helping you stay concentrated on your workout and potentially enhancing coordination.
Faster Metabolism: Caffeine may temporarily boost metabolism, which could contribute to increased calorie burn during and after exercise.
Pain Perception Reduction: Some studies suggest that caffeine might reduce the perception of pain during exercise, potentially allowing you to push yourself harder.
Most importantly, “If your morning cup of coffee is what gets you out of bed, that might be all the performance enhancement you need.” - Hilary Achauer, NY Times
These benefits are based on studies conducted on caffeine. If you’re anything like me, you might be craving something a little more fancy than a small, black cup of coffee. Your local coffee shop’s specialty season latte is definitely delicious, but probably contains some extra ingredients. Sadly, consuming sugary lattes and coffee drinks can have several negative health impacts. Here are some potential drawbacks:
Sugary lattes are often calorie-dense, and excessive calorie intake can contribute to weight gain over time.
Regular consumption of sugary beverages has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to the impact on insulin sensitivity.
High sugar content can contribute to tooth decay and cavities. The combination of sugar and acidity in some coffee drinks may further contribute to dental problems.
The rapid spike in blood sugar levels followed by a subsequent crash can lead to feelings of fatigue and irritability after the initial energy boost. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can affect mood and mental well-being. The energy crashes associated with sugary drinks may contribute to irritability and difficulty concentrating.
Excessive sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Diets high in added sugars may contribute to elevated blood pressure, inflammation, and unfavorable lipid profiles.
Regular consumption of sugary drinks may contribute to insulin resistance, a condition where cells don’t respond effectively to insulin, potentially leading to metabolic issues.
High sugar intake, especially in the form of fructose, has been linked to increased triglyceride levels in the blood, which can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Sugary lattes may lack essential nutrients found in healthier beverage choices. Relying on such drinks can contribute to an imbalanced diet.
This data won't stop me from indulging in one of Starbuck's holiday peppermint mocha cold foam cold brews occasionally - but its good to have an alternative option that will still satisfy a coffee craving. Luckily, our friends at Naked Protein have created the perfect in-between: their new Protein Coffees, available in Vanilla and Mocha Latte flavors.
You can enjoy Naked Protein Coffee before or after a workout to support lean muscle growth and post-exercise recovery.
The product information on Naked Protein’s website does ask and answer:
“Can this be mixed with hot water? No - Naked Protein Coffee is designed as a high-protein iced coffee drink mix. We recommend mixing it into cold water or milk of your choice.”
However, I found a life hack from one of their reviewers online: “I know this protein says to make an iced vanilla latte with it. But I chose to make it as a hot latte and it worked perfectly. The key to using protein powder as a hot drink is to take the 2 scoops of powder and add a little cool water or milk. Stir until it's very smooth like a gravy. Then slowly pour your hot water in the cup, stirring as you're adding it.
We've had the pleasure of sampling Naked's products before. Check out some of our previous blog posts featuring other delicious Naked Protein products and hopefully you'll get inspired!
Perfect Pair? Boxing & Brownies.: https://www.hithouse.com/post/perfect-pair-boxing-brownies
Craving a Peppermint Mocha? We are, too.: https://www.hithouse.com/post/craving-a-peppermint-mocha-we-are-too