Starbucks. Caffe Nero. Lavazza. Tchibo. All these companies have one in common: they sell extremely tasty coffees. Being surrounded by smell of coffee almost anywhere it is not surprising that more and more people reach for this dark drink. And teenagers too. Is it good for them? Should tennis players drink coffee? Let’s see if it has more to offer than just a great taste.
People drink coffee because of different reasons. Many adults can’t imagine mornings without a small black. Others use this drink as a natural stimulant to be more active. Teenagers grab it to post famous pictures with Starbucks’ logo on it. Does it really contain any benefits? Can everyone drink coffee? How much should we drink to stay healthy? You are closer and closer to get these answers…
Young athletes put a lot of tension on their bodies and minds. They have to practice hard every day and compete during almost every weekend so it is worthy to consider whether coffee can help, has nothing to do with performance or maybe it can have negative effects on minors. Firstly tennis players have to understand that coffee contains caffeine what means that each body can react differently when dealing with this stimulant. It means that if players never drink coffee they shouldn’t start this ritual right before or during the competition because different reactions can occur. Secondly players have to consider all pros and cons of this drink and make sure that they know when and how to use it to minimize detrimental effects on their performance and health. Only by having proper amount of information young athletes can be allowed to use coffee as a drink.
As with any food or drink smart sentence comes to mind: Everything is healthy. Only dose can make it unhealthy! Drinking coffee by athletes is the same. If you know how much you can drink and why you do it you can use caffeinated beverage to improve your performance and get better results on the court.
The benefits of drinking coffee
Coffee tastes really well. It is definitely a plus but the most important ingredient is called caffeine. This natural stimulant improves your awareness, awakens your functioning and keep you alert for a a longer time. Additionally caffeine reduces tiredness so you can work hard during practice sessions without too many breaks. These benefits can improve your performance so that is why coffee can be a good solution for athletes. But that is not all. Let’s not forget that coffee increases heart rate and metabolism so it can be also used to perform at your highest level from the beginning and stay in shape without support of chemical supplements. The most productive and healthy amount of caffeine for athletes is considered as 3-6mg per kg of bodyweight. Keeping your daily intake within this range will get all the benefits without risk of some side effects.
The disadvantages of drinking coffee
Caffeine can’t have only benefits if it was banned for athletes by WADA up to 2004. As with any stimulant it can have negative effect on person’s body and mind if it is used without limits. There are many researches confirming that drinking coffee can result in symptoms like dehydration, headache, nausea, increased urination or nervousness. That is why it is important to try caffeinated beverage during training periods when possible side effects won’t affect tournament results. If there are any suspicious symptoms players should put coffee away. If not it is important to control daily doses and be aware that habitual drinking coffee has to be connected with more water intake (to prevent dehydration) and self-awareness (if we don’t need more alertness we shouldn’t provide our bodies with caffeine).
Coffee can help you or can harm you. You know advantages and disadvantes of this drink so use it smartly to get better results on and off the court. And remember if you order coffee forget about empty calories as sugar, caramel or whipped topping.
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 100 ITF and WTA/ATP players. He is a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines and he was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.