Enjoy Coffee and your Bike Ride! Why Coffee and Cycling Look So Good Together! September 22, 2014
(image from: http://sebug123.blogspot.com/2013/09/adakah-manfaat-bersepeda-bagi-kesehatan.html)
Your breath is fogging in the crisp morning air. There is a stillness surrounding you, like the world is holding it’s breath. It feels like it is only you on the road. Your muscles are loose and warm, easing effortlessly into fluid motion. One leg goes up, the other pushes down, one leg up, the other pushes down, you lean forward over your handlebars. This moment is all there is.
The road fans out before you, the first leg of the ride is almost at its end. As your legs slow down from the familiar rhythm you feel exhaustion in your muscles set in. It’s time for a break. As you hitch your bike up to the bike rack you walk into the warmly lit building for some coffee.
Those who love to cycle, know the feeling of getting into the rhythm of the road, with only your bike and maybe a few other cyclists for company. How does one prolong that feeling? How does one recharge the muscles to keep going? The love of coffee does go hand in hand with cycling and that is not just a coincidence. Coffee actually helps you recharge your muscles and stay focused during your ride.
It is thought that moderate consumption of coffee may have some beneficial effects on your cardiovascular health and that can result in a more effortless ride. Performance seems less strenuous and riders who have imbibed with a caffeinated beverage are able to push themselves harder. This caffeine phenomena creates a chemical in the brain called adenosine which normally calms the brain and caffeine combats that calm, allowing riders to feel more alert, agile and able to perform better for longer.
In addition, glycogen is stored in our muscle and is one of the main supplier of body fuel when cycling. Caffeine helps sustain the glycogen in our muscles enabling cyclist to exercise without feeling fatigue from the depletion.
In studies that look at caffeine’s effect on cycling, there is consensus of a 2% to 3% benefit and boost in performance, which is significant advantage in competition. However it is also noted that everybody is individually affected by caffeine. If you love your espresso before a ride and your friend enjoys a large cup of coffee, caffeine most probably affects your body and performance differently.
Do you see the caffeinated glint in the leading cyclists eyes?!(image from: http://tmaa-in.com/running-club/)
What does this mean? It’s time to order some coffee! Experiment with the level of caffeine needed to allow your body to function at its highest performance capacity. Some studies have found that six cups of coffee achieve the best results, but most of us aren’t drinking that much coffee. Vary such aspects as the time span before the ride and intake amount; studies have shown it takes about an hour for the benefits of coffee to help during cycling however your body may metabolize the coffee more quickly. Get a newspaper, chat with your cycling buddies and sip on your coffee. It’s a great way to spend your time and it can help you leave feelings of fatigue on the road behind your tires.
On your next ride, cycle up to Red Whale Coffee and give yourself the fuel you need to keep going. You can also stop by Pelo Fitness, find our coffee there and participate in their highly developed cycling classes. What better way to see whether coffee helps you let go of feelings of fatigue than having an awesome trainer help you push your cycling boundaries?
Written by- Caitlyn Prien