Originally published by Mac – GrapplerGourmet.com
If you do not drink coffee, get out. I dont mean for good, I mean get out and go get a cup and then come back and read all about the favor you are doing for yourself by reading this review of coffee benefits for our training. We all drink coffee, or have. It is the second most traded commodity on earth just behind oil. That’s pretty ridiculous right? It is for a reason, well, reasons, coffee is delicious, packed full of energy and shockingly has some excellent health benefits. As for us BJJ nuts who are at the gym all day or the 9-5ers who can only make the night class a couple days a week, coffee should be a staple in your training. Some top level grapplers such as Jon Satava of Marcelo Garcia’s here in NYC drinks coffee right before training. There are good reasons besides just for the energy. Lets slap hands and bump fists with a cup of coffee and get rolling.
Coffee is one of the worlds most consumed beverages, only behind water, and is the second most traded commodity on earth. Those are some serious facts and like anything that is so highly regarded and in demand we want to look at their origin. Just like Jiu Jitsu Athletes, Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world. Brazil actually produces 1/3 of the world’s coffee, that’s a pretty hefty chunk. But Coffee actually started when a Shepard noticed his goats were acting all crazy once day after they ate these little red berries off a short tree. It just so happens coffee beans don’t look like what we get in bags, they are actually the seed within a little red berry to start out.
Coffee beans start out inside a little red berry, so what the hell happens between then and when my coffee machine is dripping out liquid gold? There are a lot of steps but to summarize for you the berries are; picked, dry or wet processed based on the region to prevent any spoilage, dried, milled, graded/sorted, exported, tasted/tested, roasted, shipped, then sold ground or whole to you or your local coffee shop where your favorite barista works their magic. It is not a short process, so yet again just like Brazil’s best export, BJJ.
Fun Fact: New York consumes 7 times more coffee than the rest of the world, go figure I’ve had 2 giant cups while writing this and its before 11 am…So I should say “sad fact” rather than fun.
When should we have coffee?
Time of year: Just like everything grown these days you can get it year round. One also might think “Hey its coffee it’ll taste the same no matter what time of year I get it.” Wrong. Coffee does come from a plant. Plants have seasons and produce different quality levels of fruits during those peak seasons. So coffee beans harvested at the “heart of the crop” will be a lot of flavorful and enjoyable than a coffee bean produced later in the season or earlier in the season then rushed through the processing phase. Since coffee is grown all over the world it is best to check into what the wet season is for the specific country in which your favorite coffee is grown. Or just say fuck it and drink any coffee.
Time of ingestion: There are a few trains of thought here. I am going with the simpler of the two below breaking down the gains by drinking coffee in the morning and before training. Though there is a study saying that the best times scientifically to drink coffee is between 930am-1130am and then again from 1:30pm-5pm. This is because during the other hours of the day your body is Cortisol which is a “stress hormones” that also raises our alertness. During those hours it is important to allow your body to function on its own. By drinking coffee during peak alertness times, you are just wasting the boost. So let it ride out then supplement only during the down times when Cortisol production is reduced. Thus stimulating the drop in natural energy with caffeine.
Coffee in the morning: Drink your coffee in the morning BUT not until you drink 3-4 cups of water. Your body has been asleep and not taking in any water. You know how dry your mouth is when you wake up? Your stomach, intestines and other organs are also depleted of water. In order for them to work properly they need water. It is mandatory to drink 3-4 cups of water first thing when you wake up, before food and/or coffee to ensure that your body is ready to start processing what you put in rather than it trying to play catch up and doing so sluggishly. Picture your metabolism and digestive system, like you before training jiu jitsu. Do you want to jump on the mat dehydrated already? Do you think you will perform your best under those conditions? Or would you rather have some water in you before hand and be properly hydrated? I vote option three there for peak performance. There is water in coffee but not enough to do what we need, which is re-hydrate, revitalize and start up our metabolism, only straight up water can achieve that in the morning. Then have your coffee.
Coffee before training: Drinking 1-2 cups of black coffee 30 minutes before training is a great way to get an added boost. Shockingly there are many gains to be made here. The caffeine found in coffee affects our nervous system and our metabolism. On a nervous system level the caffeine sends positive signals to our muscles which allows for harder contractions, this means our muscles can work harder than usual while fending off submissions or during the warm up in class. On a metabolic level if the coffee is drank on a relatively empty stomach the caffeine makes our body pull energy stores from our fat stores rather than food energy sources thus forcing us to shed those extra lbs.
- As grapplers coffee is our best friend because it gives us a continual boost by giving us a calorie free source of caffeine that elevates the fat acid levels in our blood stream. Our body will pull energy from them first and reserve our carbohydrate stores for later when we are deep into round 5 or 6 of the class.
- Antioxidants. There are amazingly high levels in coffee but do not use this as your primary source, still eat your fruits and vegetables though.
- Study have shown that coffee reduces the risks of certain cancers, Parkinson, diabetes, and depression.
- Oh I almost forgot, also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Bean: There are commercially really only 2 different types of beans. Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica: 70% of the worlds coffee production. The flavors are commonly lighter, fruitier and acidic.
Robusta: 30% of the worlds coffee production. Darker, nuttier flavors. Prized more for espresso because it contains double the caffeine of Arabica.
One less rank from white to black belt. In this case though if you go all the way black its just a burnt bean.
Guide to the chalk board:
- Espresso: ~one oz of super strong coffee
- Latte: a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and foam.
- Cappucino: Same as a latte but with less steamed milk.
- Machiatto: A shot of espresso with a tiny amount of steamed milk.
- Cortado: A shot of espresso, more steamed milk than a machiatto but less than a cappucino
- Cafe au lait: Regular drip coffee with steamed milk
- Mocha: A latte with chocolate in some form.
- Regular or iced coffee: Your traditional coffee made in a drip coffee machine or french press, enjoy black, or with all of the assorted sugars and creamers on the market.
The Key(lock) to beating sluggishness.
1-2 shots of Espresso
6-7 oz hot water
Combine in a mug and drink before rolling to become the king of the mats! Or just to have a nice energy boost and to increase your water intake.
*A 50ml shot of THAT COLD STUFF has 240mg of Caffeine and is perfect 30 minutes prior to a grueling session on the mats! Click the link above to order yours!