Caffeine is a prevalent substance that is found in most foods and drinks.  Some people seek the caffeine as a source of energy to wake them up in the morning or push them through the afternoon.  Contrarily, other people don’t understand how much caffeine they actually consume.  Whether you know it or not, you are probably ingesting caffeine.  One question remains; is it really good for you?

Caffeine elicits many physiological effects, some of which are beneficial for exercise. I want to discuss a few of them here.

Coffee is a bronchodilator, meaning that it opens your airways.  This directly improves the function of your lungs and allows you to get more oxygen into the blood.  As this oxygen-rich blood travels through the body, working muscles extract it for use.  This process of increased oxygen utilization improves exercise efficiency. 

Caffeine also heightens awareness.  The gym is a dangerous place if you are not focused.  Many people get injured in the gym simply because of carelessness.  Increased awareness and mental focus may help you to reach a specific goal that you have in your exercise program.

Finally, caffeine will decrease mental fatigue.  It is important that your mind doesn’t convince your body the exercise session is over.  Caffeine will help to prolong the time until mental fatigue sets in. 

These three effects of caffeine can improve your exercise session and even boost your performance.  Keep in mind that caffeine is an addictive substance and shouldn’t be abused.