Tip: 3 Rules for Lifters Who Love Coffee

Here's why you shouldn't drink coffee after training, plus two more java rules you need to know.

3-rules-for-lifters-who-love-coffee

1. Avoid Coffee After Hard Training

Swilling coffee after a tough workout is a big mistake when it comes to recovery. As you workout, cortisol is released to deal with the stress of the workout. This is a normal process during training. This puts your body in a catabolic state.

Concurrently, your body is producing testosterone. Optimizing the testosterone/cortisol ratio post workout is important for recovery. The second you finish a training session, the priority is to lower cortisol levels so you can optimize the T/C ratio. That's why post-workout nutrition is so important for recovery. That feeding is flipping the switch in your body from a catabolic to an anabolic state. However, coffee does the opposite.

Remember that you drink coffee in the morning for that pick-me-up. As you drink your coffee, the adrenals produce cortisol. Cortisol is a stimulating hormone but it's a catabolic hormone too. In times of stress, cortisol is our friend. It puts your body in that fight or flight state. Cortisol is the hormone that breaks down protein for energy, ideal before a heavy deadlift session. But when you drink coffee post training, you may prolong the catabolic state.

2. Thrive on Coffee, But Don't Survive In It

Coffee can be a double-edged sword. If you're using coffee to hit a new PR or to burn off that last bit of fat, then you're thriving on coffee. But if you're hitting up Starbucks several times a day because you're dragging ass, then you're surviving on coffee.

Drinking too much, too often can make you dependent on coffee for energy. You may feel "wired but tired." These are signs that you need to take a break from coffee.

One way to prevent this from happening is to take something to support the adrenal glands. The caffeine can stress the adrenals and deplete your body of nutrients. To ensure that you don't deplete your body, take rhodiola rosecea. This is one of the key herbs that helps your body handle stress and your daily cups of Joe.

3. Know If You're a Fast or Slow Metabolizer

You don't want to screw around with your sleep. One survey showed that almost fifty percent of Americans rarely or never have a good night of sleep. Coffee abuse may have something to do with it.

Genetics may play a role regarding the amount of coffee you can have. In particular, the CYP1A2 enzyme is the main enzyme responsible for the metabolism of caffeine. Those with a highly active CYP1A2 enzyme are fast metabolizers of caffeine. Fast metabolizers drink a grande at nine o'clock after dinner and fall asleep at 9:30. Slow metabolizers drink a half cup of coffee in the morning and become anxious all day and have difficulty falling asleep at night.

If you're a slow metabolizer and sensitive to caffeine, stop drinking coffee by noon. Even If you're a fast metabolizer, avoid coffee after 3 PM. Drinking coffee too late in the day can drive up cortisol levels. Remember, as the sun goes down so does your cortisol levels. Sunset is the signal for your body to start reducing the production of cortisol which allows for the production of melatonin, critical for sleep and recovery.

References

  1. Hakkinen K, Pakarinen A, Alen M, Kauhanen H, Komi P. Neuromuscular and hor- monal adaptations in athletes to strength training in two years. J Appl Physiol 1988;65:2406-12.
  2. Guessous I, Dobrinas M, Kutalik Z, Pruijm M, Ehrett G, Maillard M, Bergmann S, Beckmann JS, Cusi D, Rizzi F, Cappuccio F, Cornuz J, Paccaud F, Mooser V, Gaspoz JM, Waeber G, Burnier M, Vollenweider P, Eap CB, Bochud M. Caffeine intake and CYP1A2 variants associated with high caffeine intake protect non-smokers from hypertension. Human Molecular Genetics, 2012, Vol. 21, No. 14 3283-3292.

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