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Kicking out caffeine might not be the healthiest way to stay fit

Everybody has that friend who makes some snarky comment whenever you walk into Starbucks like, “You know coffee is horrible for you right?”

Yeah, well it must be nice to ninja jump out of bed and feel 110 percent every day on your own.

Although I, alongside many other emerging adults, am a habitual coffee drinker, the ingestion of caffeine has been shown through research to actually have many positive health benefits. The international Olympic Committee has even gone so far to put limit on caffeine levels because of its proven performance-enhancing capabilities.

First, the consumption of caffeine stimulates the release of adrenaline, which is known as a “flight or fight” hormone. This means your body releases it during times of stress or exercise. When caffeine is consumed before a workout, it will help diminish the feelings of fatigue, induce the release of blood sugars (you want this during exercise) and shunt blood to the working muscles and brain for work.

Evidence indicates that caffeine binds to a certain site on the muscle cell, increasing the force of contraction. It must be said though that caffeine is a diuretic. This means it will dehydrate you if ample water is not consumed as well, something you don’t want to happen on top of normal water loss from exercise. So make sure to hydrate as well with pre-workout caffeine consumption.

Caffeine is seen to have many other benefits in the body from mood improvement, to increased concentration, to its use as common pain killer in headache medication.

Before you decide to rid that “Cup of Joe” from your daily grind, think twice: you could be missing out on a powerful aide.

Jeremy Albelda is a senior exercise physiology major and a personal trainer. E-mail health questions to him at jalbelda@themiamihurricane.com.


March 24, 2010

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Jeremy Albelda

Contributing News Writer


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