Coffee contains a combination of caffeine, polyphenols, and chlorogenic acid. While there are other ingredients that naturally exist in each cup of joe, these three are the most referenced for benefit. The caffeine in coffee is what gives us the feeling of increased energy. Caffeine typically hits the bloodstream around 15–45 minutes post-consumption, and the half life (or length to digest half) is anywhere from 3–5 hours. Polyphenols are natural substances that act as antioxidants in the body, or the compounds that help protect us from free radicals (toxins). Chlorogenic acid is also classified as an antioxidant. All of these are great components for someone who wants a natural workout boost.
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How Does Coffee Help My Lifting?
Cognitive: Coffee has been seen to improve cognition by facilitating mechanisms that improve memory, learning, and reaction time. The caffeine in coffee is associated with these benefits, especially the increased reaction time. Multiple studies have highlighted the acute benefits coffee has on alertness and mental performance.
Endurance: Caffeine is a well documented ergogenic aid, or performance enhancing supplement. The average cup of coffee contains anywhere from 80–100mg of caffeine. One evidence-based review looked at 9 studies that focused on coffee ingestion pre-exercise and endurance performance. It was suggested from the review that coffee was useful for providing a safe alternative for increased endurance performance.
Power: Coffee, caffeine specifically, has an impact on our body’s nervous system by increasing our sensitivity to different stimuli. Hence, the increase in reaction time and alertness. When it comes to power output, multiple studies have provided insight that caffeine promotes neuromuscular benefits; this could possibly be due to increased recruitment of motor units. Multiple studies have highlighted the effects caffeine has on power output and sprint speed.
Strength: With increased power output comes the possibility of becoming stronger through increased muscle development. Since the caffeine in coffee heightens our nervous system sensitivity and ability to produce power, this then increases motor recruitment for strength gains. Also, coffee has been suggested to slow sarcopenia and increase the regeneration of injured muscle.