Coffee is excellent in stimulating your mind and giving you a boost, and we don’t have to be experts to be able to notice that taking in caffeine can definitely give us the mental alertness and extra energy we need everyday – especially in the mornings.
However, there were some previous studies that claimed that coffee may actually do you more harm. These studies discovered that coffee has adverse effects on the body.
Most runners give their best to run regularly for one common reason: to stay fit. Professional runners run not only to be fitter, but also for personal achievements. Participating in running events such as marathons can fuel the drive of a runner to safeguard their health even more.
So what happens when a runner drinks coffee? Would coffee give them extra energy they need for their runs? Or could a runner possibly be risking his overall health and performance from having a cup of Joe?
Coffee contains caffeine that increases mind alertness as well as endurance. Runners can actually benefit from drinking coffee because caffeine pushes your body to use fat as a fuel source while running, instead of glycogen. Therefore, glycogen is conserved to be consumed at the latter part of the race or run – helping runners endure the race for a longer duration.
Furthermore, coffee enhances production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that create that positive feeling in your body. These endorphins are helpful in adding to your motivation to continue running and may even give you a runner’s high.
When it comes to dehydration, though, more recent research found out that there is no hard, concrete evidence which proves that coffee actually affects the hydration or dehydration significantly.
If you’re planning to drink coffee for your next running exercise, you must know that it takes time for the effect of caffeine to do its job. So, it is recommendable to drink your coffee an hour prior to your run in order for you to enjoy its maximum benefits.
While these good news about the positive effects of coffee to your running performance may urge you to drink a lot, it is important to not forget that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Since coffee is a stimulant, too much consumption may lead to sleepless nights, jitters, anxiety, and even heart palpitations. You must always monitor your coffee intake and make sure that you don’t drink too much of it.
Research also revealed that too much coffee intake may cause withdrawal and if large amounts are consumed regularly, the good results may not be as effective anymore. If you intend to drink coffee in preparation for a running event, it’s best to minimise consumption for about a day before the big day.
The amount of caffeine that would work effectively varies for every runner. To be able to find out what would work best for you, you should try drinking coffee before you do your running trainings instead of just trying it on the day of the actual race or marathon.