I’d like one Iced Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato with a double shot of espresso! Or how about a Venti Vanilla Latte with soymilk and a pump of Cinnamon Dulce Syrup? Okay so the trendy coffee orders floating from the mouths of thousands may not be your idea of the perfect pre-race or run beverage. It’s a little frilly for most of you hardcore runners. So lets get down to running business. Coffee. No extra shots, pumps, or whip. You are probably wondering why OnlyAtoms is rambling about this age-old beverage. What we are honing in on is not the coffee, but the element inside this valuable asset for running and runners…CAFFEINE.
I mean the number one reason the majority of people (and runners) drink coffee is for an energy kick, right? Recent studies have been released driving the idea that coffee can actually benefit your running workouts. Even more so (and more importantly to all of you), coffee can improve your running. So I’m sure you’re beginning to understand why we like this versatile beverage for running and racing. The American College of Sports Medicine (http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/caffeineandexercise.pdf) gives a very in-depth breakdown on caffeine’s impact on the body related to exercise...
Studies were completed on athletes to see the change in performance with the addition of caffeine. Results proved that ingestion boosts performance for both short-term intensity and long-term endurance activities. Working as a stimulant, it can push runners to cover more ground going farther for longer periods of time.
Research is not extremely extensive. Although there definitely is proof that caffeine ingestion may help athletes. The 'lil caffeine boost wakes up both your body and mind to give some extra umph, especially at mile 10 of that half marathon. We are not recommending for you to down your whole 12-cup pot tomorrow morning before your sunrise jog, or to rely on coffee to cut minutes from your record mile time (though a PR is always nice!). It’s a mere suggestion as something new to experiment with during training and smaller races. We just thought it was too cool not to share with you.
Another tip to keep in mind if you’re planning on pairing caffeine with your next run. Be careful! After all, coffee is a diuretic. Meaning it can possibly dehydrate you, especially on a run. The best recommendation is to just up your water intake a bit. This shouldn’t be too hard because we trust all of you are already fantastic at keeping your body hydrated to keep yourself at peak performance (just nod and smile). Okay, good we’re glad that’s already a given.
If you don’t like coffee, alternatives do exist. Although caffeine levels are lower, green tea is a great replacement. Its benefits are fantastic, especially pre and during longer distance races. Don’t even get us started…we may just have to dedicate a whole blog post to discuss the health benefits that come along with this magical beverage.
Runner friends, we hope you always trust your body. This is first and foremost. Throughout your running career you may have tried various energy drinks, state-of-the-art running shoes, or attempted odd training methods in attempts to improve your athletic abilities. Stay healthy and never do anything to put yourself and body in a dangerous situation. We love our fellow runners too much for that. So for now try out our random coffee trick if you’re interested. We would love to hear if you think it works for your running and racing, or is just a myth.