DSC04106 Cara looking strong

Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, and my grossly subjective over-assumption is that CrossFit athletes make up at least half of that consumption. While some do opt for tea or non caffeinated beverages, my guess is they are the minority. Why do so many of us who follow Zone and/or Paleo diets, which discourage or prohibit caffeine, make an exception for coffee? Because it can increase your Fran time! Or if your me, it's because it's my personal form of crack (besides the Twilight books and chocolate).

Although there are many studies suggesting that coffee inhibits nutrient absorption, increases stress, spikes blood sugar, increases insulin resistance, raises risk for cardiovascular disease, arthritis and spontaneous combustion, there is no denying it's effect on athletic performance, especially after reading this article in The New York Times. "Caffeine increases the power output of muscles by releasing calcium that is stored in muscle. The effect can enable athletes to keep going longer or to go faster in the same length of time. Caffeine also affects the brain’s sensation of exhaustion, that feeling that it’s time to stop, you can’t go on any more. That may be one way it improves endurance."

When it comes to coffee or caffeine does the good outweigh the bad, or is it vice versa?


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