Nowadays, there are probably as many coffee supporters praising its beneficial qualities as there are opponents, believing it to be nothing but a worthless drug. Even though the data published in the recent years has proven that coffee is not only harmless, but it actually possesses favourable properties, it is still underappreciated as a substance aiding physical effort, and hardly anyone treats it as an equal solution to the pre-training mixes - unjustly so. Coffee can be used as an element of aiding the workout and your general fitness.
A couple of words on pre-workout supplements
The pre-workout supplements that are to be taken before physical effort, are usually composed of substances relieving the feeling of fatigue, invigorating the body and improving physical endurance. The first and foremost ingredient to such mixtures is...caffeine, which exhibits precisely the aforementioned effect on the organism. The mechanism behind these benefits is complex and may be considered on two levels, both in terms of the changes in neurotransmitter activity, and the increase of the availability of energy substrates.
Additionally, caffeine increases the metabolic rate, by means of its thermogenic properties, which makes it perfect for people, who would like to improve the composition of their physique. Additionally, the pre-workout supplements include substances increasing the production of nitrogen oxide, which in turn increases the muscle pump. The aforementioned substances sometimes include other additives, influencing the workout process - to various extents. Some of the ingredients don't have a scientifically proven effect (eg. taurine, glutamine), which might also be worth taking into consideration.
Coffee - what's in it?
Coffee is a beverage hiding a multitude of various substances, some of which have the ability to influence our bodies. As is commonly known, it is a rich source of fast-working caffeine (whose properties have been described in the previous paragraph). Thanks to its effects, coffee is 'used" as a beverage prompting to action and relieving fatigue. If only for that sole reason, utilizing it as an element of aiding physical effort seems reasonable. Coffee also introduces a big dose of polyphenols, which will diminish the negative effects of oxidative stress and additionally - sensitize the target cells to anabolic hormones, such as insulin. This aspect is also important in the context of using caffeine in sport 'supplementation".
Coffee and physical effort
It's worth noting that the reason for using coffee as a supplement to increase strain capacity has a strong basis in scientific research. In one of the experiments, for example, they have proven that coffee significantly increased the ability to keep up a desired workout intensity in people who suffered from sleep deficiency. The authors of the experiment have observed that a straight coffee allowed the participants to exercise with greater weights, lowering their fatigue level. Which means, it had the precise effect you would expect from a pre-workout supplement. But coffee - unlike most supplements - is a totally natural product, free from chemical additives.
Conclusion: coffee or pre-workout supplements?
A balanced portion of a pre-workout supplement and a cup of a strong, black coffee might prove to be an excellent solution before undertaking physical effort. Each of the methods has it's pros, each one provides a boost to your efficiency and it's hard to say - from a pragmatic point of view - which will give you better results, even though the pre-workout supplements include some substances increasing the production of nitrogen oxide, such as arginine, citrulline, norvaline, which also increase the muscle pump. On the other hand, there's no reason not to ingest any of these along with a cup of coffee. Thus, the choice should be based on your individual preference.