Most of us wake up and immediately search for caffeine. If this doesn't happen quickly, we often become irritable, and yes, that's how we like it! All of you non-coffee drinkers can sit there and enjoy your herbal tea, while we enjoy ALL THE COFFEE! I guess it's a case of agree to disagree ;)
So why is coffee so good at doing what it does?
Caffeine is what we call a vasodilator, meaning it's primary role in the body is to open all of our blood vessels and enhance the blood flow around our body. We experience a heightened sense of physical production and the speed at which we operate and live. This is due to the extra stimulation of our vascular system (our blood vessels and how we transport blood around the body).
Caffeine is a natural stimulant, which is why you never get a "down" from drinking it. Those who add sugar to their caffeinated beverages will, on the other hand, as their down comes from the sugar crash after an insulin spike from their elevated blood sugar levels. As caffeine increase the rate at which your bloody flows through the body, it will naturally increase your heart rate. As a result, some people may be more sensitive to it than others. Be sure to keep an eye on heart rate and blood pressure if you are predisposed to any such conditions.
As a pre-workout, it is incredibly effective as it will help to increase blood flow all around the body, allowing for more blood to the muscles, and therefore a greater oxygenated blood source helping deliver more strength output.
Caffeine is also a fantastic 'lineariser'. Meaning, it helps you focus on certain tasks and better systemise an approach to complete these. On the other hand, herbal teas are better at expanding the mind and bringing in greater creativity and thought provoking abilities. So those who have specific tasks to complete that rarely change, caffeine would work better. For those in the creative space, artists, authors, performers, may better benefit from herbal tea to stimulate thoughts and their natural creativity.
Coffee is also a great diuretic and digestive aid. It encourage the removal of waste product, but over consumed, and you will experience adverse effects from it, ie. fast digestion, cramping, dehydration and headaches. So be careful to monitor and listen to the symptoms.
In the right environment, coffee can add great benefit to your day, your training, and your life! If you suffer from caffeine sensitivity and become jittery, shaky, sweaty, nervous or anxious, I also suggest you stay off it, it's just not for you. For the rest of us, sit back and enjoy!
Just like a lot of other products that have great health benefits, it can be abused, so use it safely and enjoy it as nature intended it...black.