Energy kick or nutrient robber? Ghosts are divided on opinions about the effect of coffee: While some athletes swear by a cup of coffee before jogging to improve their performance, other runners are concerned that possible side effects may hinder training success.
Caffeine and jogging: is that okay?
The fact is: caffeine awakens and stimulates the circulation. But rumors of a negative impact on the fluid and mineral balance persist. We've put together seven tips for you to help you improve your running performance with coffee.
1. The time is important
Caffeine takes about 30 minutes to reach its effect in the organism: Temporarily increases pulse and blood pressure and extends the airways. In addition, caffeine promotes the release of fatty acids and glucose in the body. This way, the muscles can be better supplied with oxygen and energy. A cup of coffee half an hour before jogging can thus improve strength and endurance while running. Whether coffee also increases the long-term training effect has not yet been clarified. However, negative effects on fitness and muscle building - such as drinking alcohol before exercise - are not known.
2. Choose the right coffee ingredients
Black or with milk and sugar? That depends on your training goal. If you train for a certain amount of time or distance, sugar as an energy supplier can boost the performance-enhancing effect of coffee. Milk also contains protein and calcium and thus supports - albeit only slightly - the muscle function. If, on the other hand, you want to lose weight while walking, it is best to drink the coffee in black.
3. Do not overdo it with caffeine
Too high a dose of caffeine can cause tachycardia, heart stuttering, trembling as well as nervousness and sleep disturbances. However, the amount of these side effects is individually different. As a guideline, an upper limit of about 600 milliliters of coffee is distributed throughout the day. Before running, however, it should not be more than one or two cups, otherwise the diuretic effect of coffee could interrupt the training prematurely.
4. Pay attention to your iron household
Since caffeine inhibits the absorption of iron from food, you should not drink coffee for about an hour before and after eating. Because iron deficiency can lead to anemia and impair performance.
5. Beware of cardiovascular disease
Studies have shown that caffeine may narrow the coronary vessels before exercise. What is usually harmless in healthy people can be dangerous for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). Because with them, the coronary vessels are narrowed anyway and the oxygen supply to the heart thus restricted. So if you have coronary heart disease you should avoid coffee before jogging.
6. After jogging: Cleverly refuel
For a long time coffee was suspected of draining the body. Meanwhile, however, it has been proven that coffee has no significant influence on the fluid balance. Nevertheless, as a thirst quencher you should prefer mineral water, juice spritzers or isotonic drinks. In addition, a cup of coffee after running, however, support the regeneration of the muscles.
7. Form your own judgment
The effect of coffee is different in every person. So whether you benefit from drinking before or after running is best found out by simply trying it out.