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Coffee

The drink that helps me get “Shit Done”

Coffee is the second most traded commodity on the world, with 25 million farmers in 25 countries producing coffee.If you have a hard time functioning in the morning without coffee, you're not alone In fact, caffeine is considered the most commonly used drug in the world. In the uk alone the UKS coffee consumptions has soared to 95 million cups a day in 2018, up from 70 million in 2008.That’s an increase of 25 million over the last 10 years. 

“It’s evident to see that in the last decade we’ve gone from a country of tea sippers who enjoy the occasional instant coffee, to a nation of seasoned coffee connoisseurs exploring a large variety of roast and ground blends”

Did you know…..

  • It is currently the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance, and the one to blame for coffee's potentially addictive properties
  • Caffeine has various effects on your body, including the ability to increase your metabolism, enhance exercise performance and boost your mood But caffeine is perhaps best known for its effects on your brain, where it helps increase alertness, concentration and the motivation to work.
  • Did you know coffee was originally a food. 
    Coffee berries were mixed with fat to create an energy-rich snackball. It was also consumed as a wine when made from the pulp of coffee berries.
  • Coffee is actually a fruit.
    Coffee beans as we know them are actually the pits of a cherry-like berry that are grown on bushes. Even though coffee is actually a seed, it's called a bean because of its resemblance to actual beans.
  • Dark roast coffees have less caffeine than lighter roasts.
    Even though the flavour is often stronger, roasting actually burns off some of the caffeine.
  • Decaf does not mean caffeine-free.
    An eight ounce brewed cup of decaf coffee actually has two-to-12 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, a regular cup of coffee has anywhere from 95 to 200 milligrams. (Twelve ounces of coke only has 23-35 milligrams of caffeine.)
  • In the UK, 80% of adults consume caffeine every day.
    According to the Food and Drug Administration, the average intake is 200 milligrams, or about two five-ounce cups of coffee.
  • Between the US and UK we consume 400 million cups of coffee per day.
    This is the equivalent to 146 billion cups each year. the U.S. IS the leading consumer of coffee in the world
  • Britons spend more than £2,000 a year each in high street coffee shops, research has found.
  • On average we visit a coffee shop 152 times - three times a week - and each trip costs us £13.85.
  • The total spend for the average Brit is £2,110.86 p/y or eight per cent of the average UK salary of £27,000.

Caffeine

The amount of caffeine found in coffee varies greatly. For instance, some cups of coffee can contain as little as 30 mg, whereas others hold over 300 mg.However, on average, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine — enough to produce noticeable effects for most people.

Once consumed, caffeine takes about 30–60 minutes to reach its maximal concentration in the blood. Effects tend to last between three and nine hours, depending on the person

Coffee Has Some Health Benefits

Unlike most other addictive substances, coffee and caffeine consumption can have certain health benefits.

The most well-researched include:

  • Improved brain function: Regularly drinking coffee may improve alertness, short-term recall and reaction time. It may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases 
  • Improved mood: Studies show that regular coffee or caffeine consumers have a lower risk of depression and suicide 
  • Boosts your metabolism: Daily caffeine consumption may increase your metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 13% 
  • Enhances exercise performance: Caffeine can increase tolerance to fatigue, improve exercise performance and make your workouts feel easier 
  • Protects against heart disease and diabetes: Regularly drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea may reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes in some individuals

Coffee & Exercise 

Caffeine is one of the most researched substances reported to help athletes perform better and train longer and harder. As a result, professional and amateur sports people often take it as a performance-enhancing “ergogenic” aids for a wide range of activities. These include intermittent exercise such as football and racket sports, endurance exercise such as running and cycling, and resistance exercise such as weightlifting.

But while most research looks at the effects of pure caffeine consumed as tablets with water, in the real world most people get their caffeine from coffee, energy drinks or other products like special gels or chewing gum. So will drinking a cup of joe before your workout actually make a difference? The answer could depend as much on your genes as what kind of coffee you’re drinking.

Scientists think caffeine affects the body chemical adenosine, which normally promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. Caffeine ties up the receptors in the brain that detect adenosine and so makes it more alert.

But it may also increase stimulation of the central nervous system, making exercise seem like it involves less effort and pain. In high-intensity activities such as resistance training or sprinting, it may increase the number of fibres used in muscle contractions, meaning movements can be more frequent and forceful.

Faster, higher, stronger

Research has shown that pure caffeine can help endurance athletes run faster and cycle for longer. It can help footballers to sprint more often and over greater distances, and basketball players to jump higher. It can help tennis players and golfers to hit the ball with greater accuracy. And it can help weightlifters lift more weight.

The evidence for caffeine’s effects on sprinting is more mixed. Limited improvements have been found for events lasting under three minutes. But for races of around ten seconds, caffeine can improve peak power output, speed, and strength.

xtra-fit-blog-coffee-text
Total weight lifted when performing back squats to failure. 

An increasing number of studies have also shown that coffee can be used as an alternative to caffeine to improve cycling and competitive running performance, and produce similar results similar to pure caffeine. In fact, coffee may even be more effective at improving resistance exercise than caffeine alone. Similarly, drinking energy drinks containing caffeine before exercise can improve mental focus, alertness, anaerobic performance and endurance performance.

But drinking coffee isn’t like taking a measured dose of caffeine. The amount of stimulant in a cup, and so how it affects you, will depend on the blend of coffee and how it is brewed. Studies have shown consuming either 0.15gor 0.09gof caffeinated coffee per kilogram of body weight can improve performance. So a dessert spoon of coffee granules rather than a traditional teaspoon is probably best.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that each piece of research shows caffeine improves athletic performance of a group of people as a whole. But we also know that genetic factors have a big influence on our responses to caffeine and not everyone reacts in the same way. This means consuming caffeine won’t necessarily improve your performance.