A standard part of my Sports Nutrition spiel whether I am teaching a Coaching Certification Course or speaking to junior squash campers is the tongue-in-cheek promotion of coffee consumption. I enjoy the part of my talk because the common perception appears to be that coffee is “bad for you”.
As a current owner of five different espresso machines I should come clean with my bias before I go any further. I usually cite five benefits of coffee consumption – several of them potential benefits for squash players:
- Enhanced endurance performance (a small percentage) through the glycogen-sparing effect of caffeine – caffeine enhances fat utilization during endurance-type events and postpones the need for the body to increase reliance on using muscle glycogen (sugar stored around the muscle).
- Coffee is a great source of anti-oxidants – better than a kiwi!
- Coffee can ward off depression – suicide rates are lower amongst coffee drinkers.
- Coffee improves simple reaction time, mental alertness, and short-term memory – that should be good for squash no?
- Coffee has recently been shown to have a possible effect on preventing certain cancers. Read the rest of this entry »