Most of us make a beeline for our coffee makers immediately upon waking from our slumber. The hot, caffeine-filled beverage is a staple of the morning routine and often a prerequisite for human interaction. Coffee makes us better people—or, at the very least, better at performing the occupational processes that fill our mornings.
As it turns out, however, our beloved cup o' joe can also make us better runners. Here's how.
Morning Pick Me-Up1 of 6
Mental alertness is crucial—particularly during morning runs, when you may still be feeling groggy. Caffeine provides an overall brain boost and serves as a mood-improver, which comes in handy for those non-morning people.
Post-Run Recovery2 of 6
A study by the American College of Sports Medicine illustrated significant post-race recovery benefits associated with the consumption of caffeine that triggered an increased release of anti-inflammatory substances within the body.
Make it Feel Easy3 of 6
Caffeine has been shown to reduce perceived exertion—making that seven-minute mile feel more like an eight-minute mile. This could be due, in part, to the concentrated release of endorphins to the brain that ultimately results in a runner's high.
Pick Up Speed4 of 6
Coffee can literally make you run faster by enhancing reaction time and coordination, which allows you to run more efficiently.
"Eliminate" Potential Issues5 of 6
Contrary to popular belief, coffee doesn't lead to dehydration. That being said, it does assist in triggering, um, bowel movements. And, as any runner knows, getting that sort of thing out of the way before a run is of paramount importance.