THE FUEL. But first…coffee


Find it hard to string a sentence together without your morning hit of caffeine? James Heagney, Sports Nutritionist, PICP Strength Trainer and founder of D5 Dubai, reveals how to make your coffee morning ritual work for you…

“Contrary to popular belief caffeine is actually not a bad substance for the body.”

I’m a huge proponent of coffee if you can tolerate it, caffeine can have a huge differential effect on many people. This is due to genetics and the rate at which you process caffeine in your liver via the enzyme P-450 pathway. If you are a slow oxidiser of caffeine then a morning coffee is not for you. This will most likely increase your stress hormones and create a feeling of anxiety. If you are a fast oxidiser then caffeine has a normal rate of clearance within the body and you can get along very nicely with a cup of coffee per day. Contrary to popular belief caffeine is actually not a bad substance for the body. Taken before your workout caffeine will increase drive, motivation, strength and will stimulate the liberation of stored body fat for fuel.

How you take it….

You might have heard of black coffee with coconut oil added to it. This is very popular amongst the fitness community and it actually fits nicely into the improving brain function. Coconut Oil is a MCT (medium chain triglyceride) and can be used for fuel instantly by the body and the brain. I recommend you try this for yourself and make your own decision. For me personally black is the only way. Espresso or Americano it’s really personal preference.

Ditch the sweeteners and no-sugar syrups…

We are learning now that your body has taste receptors in the stomach. The sweetness created by the artificial sweeteners can trick the body into thinking sugar is coming into the body, stimulating digestive enzymes and a potential insulin response.

Soya milk is not going to kill you just yet but it’s really not the health food many believe it to be. If you really need dash of milk then try a teaspoon of organic heavy cream 35%+ Fat. This tastes great and will provide a nice source of fats.

Go Organic…

Make sure you get hold of organic coffee beans as commercial non-organic beans are amongst some of the most heavily sprayed food products with pesticides. This is a very real concern for your health. This is why homemade coffee is the best bet.

When not to have coffee…

A final note to add, coffee pre-workout is excellent. Coffee post-workout is not so great. Pre-workout you actually want to stimulate the release of catecholamine’s (stress hormones). When they are elevated the body is in a state of breaking down what we hope is stored body fat. Post-workout, grabbing a coffee will elevate cortisol even further on top of the bout of exercise. For a favourable hormonal balance that will set up your body for repair, regeneration and to maximise the effect of your workout, leave the coffee for 3-4 hours.

Picture via Buro 24/7

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