COFFEE. That little cup that helps the world go round. There are some people that can't function in the morning without it (hey Mom!), but I'd like to think I'm not quite there yet ...
A black cup of coffee contains roughly 95mg of caffeine which, studies have shown, can lead to increased focus, decreased fatigue and improve mental functioning. Caffeine is a stimulant so you do have to be mindful of how much you are consuming.
I get a lot of questions from athletes about pre-workout supplements. From my research, the best kind of pre-workout supplement is that cup of plain black coffee. There is research to support that caffeine is a stimulant that may help improve the body's fat burning abilities if consumed prior to a workout along with sustained energy levels. That being said, in order for your body to actually feel the effects of caffeine, it cannot be consumed in large quantities day in and day out. Our central nervous system's are responsible for the stimulant effect and it will get all out of whack with over-consumption!
The same goes for a pre-workout supplement. If you take it everyday, eventually the effects will fade as the body starts to adapt forcing you to consume more. My suggestion? Only take a pre-workout supplement when you really need the extra boost of energy.
Most research says the average adult could consume up to 300mg of caffeine daily, but do what works best for you. I know there are some days I get antsy after one cup, and there's other days I go for seconds ... Listen to your body!
Not only does coffee provide some stellar benefits, but I know that some of my best conversations with family and friends are over a 'cup of coffee'. I have said before that the best way to get to know a place is to go to the local coffee shops - its one of my favourite things to do (other than sweat).
My advice? Learn to enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe schedule it around a workout for an extra boost. Perhaps you may incorporate it into your extra 15-minutes in the morning too ;)
P.S. QUICK TIP: add cinnamon to your coffee for extra flavour (cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory!)