Caffeine as a recovery aid
One of the most common supplements in health and fitness is caffeine. Caffeine can be found practically everywhere in the health and wellness world – from pre-workouts, to coffee flavored protein powder, to even pain-relief medications.
Although caffeine is used in many different ways, pairing it with exercise is nothing new. In fact, studies show that over 75% of athletes regularly use caffeine with exercise.
While caffeine is commonly used before workouts, new research is beginning to show caffeine's potential as a significant recovery aid.
Glycogen’s role in recovery
In order to understand caffeine as a recovery tool, it is very important to first understand the role of glycogen in recovery.
That being said, glycogen is the body’s process of converting glucose into energy.
Think about it like this: glycogen is our muscles’ main source of fuel that allows our bodies to partake in various activities.
Whether you’re jogging, lifting weights, or playing sports, glycogen is what allows your muscles to function at full capacity.
Simply put, more glycogen = more fuel for your muscles.
With that in mind, to achieve a replenishing and restful recovery, you need to have ways to restore your body’s glycogen. A common example of this is eating foods that easily convert to glucose, particularly, protein and carbohydrates.
But there are also other extremely beneficial ways to replenish your body with glycogen, specifically, ingesting caffeine after your workouts.
Why you should be using caffeine as a recovery tool
Many studies show that one of the best ways to allow your body to recover through the replenishment of glycogen is by ingesting caffeine after exercise.
In one particular study, multiple cyclists were each given one of two different recovery drinks after their cycling sessions. While both drinks had a significant amount of carbohydrates in them, one of the drinks also contained caffeine.
It was then found that just 4 hours after the athletes had consumed their drinks, the drink containing caffeine had resulted in a 66% greater increase in glycogen levels, as opposed to the one without caffeine.
While the research speaks for itself, it’s important to have some sort of method in place for your post-workout recovery.
Think about it as an investment in your body’s ability to perform: your quality of recovery will reflect your quality of performance.
Taking care of your body by allowing it to recover to the best of its ability is just as important as the performance itself. This philosophy of prioritizing recovery by pairing caffeine with vital post-workout nutrients is one that we aimed for in own STRONG Coffee.
If you read anything, read this …
Caffeine's use before workouts is largely becoming overshadowed by the practice of using caffeine as a recovery tool, and for the right reasons.
Strengthening and pushing your body physically is certainly an important way to allow your body to thrive. Allowing your body to recover and replenish its fuel is also equally as important. If you truly care for your body, prioritizing your recovery is essential to achieve your body's highest physical potential.