Runner coffee: drink or not drink?

We understood this issue by resorting to the opinion of Western and domestic experts.

Having a cup of coffee in the morning is a certain masthead for many runners. It is known that coffee acts as an energy stimulant, and an antidepressant, and triggers important metabolic processes in the body. Nevertheless, there are quite a few myths and stereotypes around it, and perforce, whether or not you drink another “espresso”, you begin to think about how useful this is.


An expert in nutrition and fitness, a University of California professor, Liz Applegate, in the article “Eight reasons to drink coffee,” recommends it to runners, as coffee can significantly increase training effectiveness, reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and improve mood. What is not a miracle drink? These and other arguments in favor of coffee lovers Liz Applegate backed up with scientific research.

Coffee makes training effective . Researchers from the UK divided the triathletes into 4 focus groups: the first gave a drink with 350 mg of caffeine, the second – coffee with the usual caffeine content, the third – decaffeinated coffee (decaf) and the last – a placebo drink. According to the results of the cycling race, the first two groups, which showed approximately the same results, greatly overtook the groups with placebo and decaf-coffee fans.

Coffee contains a powerful antioxidant complex . Coffee beans contain antioxidants, which are 500 times more powerful than those found in green tea or vitamin C. Coffee also strengthens the body’s defense against oxidizers. For example, a group of people who drank Arabica coffees once a day for 4 weeks lowered the markers of acidic DNA damage.

Coffee improves mood . According to a study by the National Institute of Health of the United States, people who drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day are 10% less prone to depression than those who do not drink coffee at all. Scientists believe that coffee affects the body, contributing to the production of dopamine – the pleasure hormone.

Coffee reduces the risk of developing diabetes . The consumption of 2 cups of coffee (even without caffeine) per day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 12%. The greatest risk reduction is observed in those athletes who have a relatively small body mass index.

Coffee improves brain function . Delaying the loss of cognitive functions of the brain is also listed in the list of coffee lovers. For 4 years, scientists observed two groups of people over 65, some of whom consumed a coffee drink, while others did not. Needless to say, those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day coped with the challenges better than their peers?

Coffee reduces stress . Inhale the aroma of coffee – and you will already feel better. This is because the smell of coffee affects the nervous system, forcing our body to produce neurotransmitters, which in turn improve mood. Mice that went through the maze and felt the smell of coffee, less experienced a sense of causeless anxiety and anxiety.

In addition to all the above positive effects, coffee also helps to normalize the intestinal microflora and helps protect the liver (life hacking for those who drink alcohol more often than once a week).

Not to drink

But those who criticize coffee, a lot of arguments. Let us examine the main ones and also consider how to reduce the risks of possible negative impact. Mark Remy, a nutrition expert, sorted out the root causes of the harm coffee brings.

Coffee “flushes out” beneficial trace elements from the body . Yes, in a way it is. Coffee really interferes with the absorption of calcium, magnesium and a number of other trace elements, which is especially strong for the health of the musculoskeletal system. To cope with the negative effects of kofemaniya possible, taking a multivitamin complexes.

Coffee is addictive. The main disadvantage of coffee is the emergence of an irresistible desire to drink an extra cup, which develops after a long drink. This happens because gradually the tonic effect of coffee is reduced, and to obtain the same effect, the dose is needed more and more. However, the emergence of addiction can be fought by reducing the strength and frequency of consumption.

Coffee is bad for the heart. Yes, coffee leads to an increase in pressure, which can adversely affect those who have problems with the cardiovascular system. However, to avoid “heart problems,” runners are advised not to drink coffee more than 30 minutes before a workout, and prepare it in a coffee maker, rather than brewing it.

Coffee leads to disturbances in the nervous system. When the body gets used to the constant consumption of coffee, stimulation of the nervous system reaches its limit. And this turns all the “usefulness” of coffee to the detriment of the body: sleep is disturbed, a person becomes over-excited, lethargy and drowsiness, deterioration of mood can occur. But again, if you limit the amount of coffee you drink, the negative effects can be avoided.

Coffee is a companion of other bad habits. Morning. Coffee house. Tear 2-3 bags of sugar and pour them into your paper cup, stirring feverishly with a stick. We eat a harmful quick-carb snack and rush on. Familiar picture? Of course, this refers to runners to a lesser degree, but, nevertheless, most of the inhabitants of megalopolises live this way, which means that the risk of being in this category is not so small. It does not matter if you consider yourself to be the type of people described above, it is recommended to control the process of coffee consumption. Take a closer look – maybe your morning ritual is not that useful? And not because of the coffee.

It seems to be the conclusions are simple: from coffee, you can benefit from following certain rules.That is, control the amount of the drink, the time of its drinking and the processes accompanying it.But let’s turn to the opinion of practicing domestic trainers on the run.

Expert opinion

We asked Alexander Golovin, the head coach of the Running Expert club, to comment on the pros and cons of coffee, and also to tell whether he allows his runners to drink it during preparation for marathons.

– Caffeine is usually referred to the class of stimulants of the central nervous system, and substances of this class are the oldest of all types of doping. However, their effectiveness has always been extremely dubious.

Dorando Pietri led the marathon during the London Olympics in 1908, taking strychnine in the distance. Many read about his dramatic finish, when he fell several times at the stadium and was able to complete the distance only with the help of the judges, after which he was disqualified for receiving help. This is just an example of the typical action of a strong CNS stimulator, which increases heat production and leads to inadequate thermoregulation, which is extremely dangerous for a marathon distance.

I found a time when psychostimulants consumed literally everything and right up to the level of district competitions. For example, there was such a drug very popular among domestic athletes – sydnocarb.And I do not know ANY case of successful use of potent stimulants in the types of endurance – even leaving aside the legal and moral and ethical aspects of their use. The main task of the training process in such types is to minimize the specific energy consumption, whereas stimulants increase metabolism, that is, they act in exactly the opposite way. And the negative effect on thermoregulation, as already mentioned, may simply be dangerous to health in hot weather.

Fortunately, caffeine – a stimulant is very weak, so its use even in tablets (caffeine sodium benzoate) has never led to sad consequences. Moreover, Melvin Williams in his work “Ergogenic means in the sports training system” refers to studies when the use of caffeine at a dosage of 15 mg per kilogram of body weight, which is equivalent to 1000 mg for a 70-kilogram athlete, led to a significant improvement in performance. But already a dose of 10 mg per kilogram was ineffective.

True, there is one nuance. Using only coffee, it is impossible to consume enough caffeine – for this you would have to drink half a liter of espresso or two whole liters of an instant drink. That is, coffee, as an ergogenic remedy, is basically useless. As for the use of caffeine in pills, then there are the following considerations.

The ergogenic effect of caffeine is due to the increased utilization of free fatty acids, but there is no research on the effectiveness of caffeine use for marathon runners, who use a special nutrition scheme before the competition to achieve supercompensation of glycogen. Carbohydrate loading leads to the release of insulin, which blocks the oxidation of fat, that is, its action is directly opposite to the action of caffeine. At the same time, the use of super-compensation is extremely effective, which has been proven for decades, but the practice of using caffeine, even in very large doses, shows that it does not harm at best. It should be added that caffeine is a diuretic, albeit not strong, and taking a diuretic before the marathon is also not very reasonable.

In general, on the basis of theoretical considerations and the experience of the practical use of caffeine, I can advise you to enjoy delicious coffee in your free time from training and competition, and to look for other ways to improve your results.

Updated: December 17, 2018 — 8:34 pm

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