|Image 1: Coffee is made of coffee beans! Hard to believe if you look at what remains of this precious superfood in a sachet with instant "coffee", right? But is instant, let alone "decaf" + instant really as bad as its rep?|
Instant Defac before exercise? That does not make sense, right?
In their study, Donrawee Leelarungrayub, Maliwan Sallepan and Sukanya Charoenwattana from the Chiang Mai and Burapha Universities in Thailand tried to get to the bottom of the question of whether or not the acute ingestion of coffee (not caffeine or stimulant loaden pre-workout products) would exert any beneficial or detrimental effects on the energy utilization and antioxidant capacity of 26 healthy and normal-weight, but non-athletic (=mainly sedentary ;-) men. The subjects who were assigned to one out of three study groups
- regular coffee - at a dose that would deliver 5mg/kg body weight (for a 70kg Thai this would be 350mg or 1-2 large cups of coffee)
- decaffeinated coffee - at an identical dose, yet prepared with instant freeze dried decaffeinated coffee from Expressor, Thailand
- placebo - unfortunately the scientists do give any further information on the placebo group, other than stating that they received "no supplement", if this means that groups 1 and 2 ingested fluids, while group 3 did not, this would be a minor flaw in the study design
Real men (and women) drink real coffee... at least if their goal is fat loss ;-)
The VO2 and RER values you see in figure 1 were taken, when the heart rate of the subjects had climbed to 80% of their maximal heart rate and could be interpreted as being indicative of what you would see during the high intensity phases of a short high intensity (yet not all out) interval training (HIIT) regimen. Unfortunately trial 1 (without coffee) and trial 2 (with coffee) were performed subsequently, it is thusly no wonder that the oxygen consumption increased and the RER dropped in all three conditions - a similar effect is seen, when you perform your "cardio" training after your resistance training sessions, when the decreased glucose availability forces your body to burn more fat.
|Figure 1: Differences in VO2 consumption, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), blood glucose and malondialdehyde (MDA) in trial one (unsupplemented) vs. trial two (supplemented; data based on Leelarungrayub. 2012)|
If you just want the antioxidant effects, decaffeinated coffee seems to be fine, though
What is yet somewhat unresting is the profound +71% increase in MDA levels in the regular coffee group. And while the change in total antioxidant capacity (TAC; not shown in figure 1) was not statistically significant in either of the groups, it is still quite telling that - all statistical shenanigan aside - the subject who consumed the decaffeinated coffee were the only ones, where the TAC values increased from the pre- (control) to the post (supplementation) test.
|Image 2: If you still belive that temporary increases in testosterone build muscle and cortisol needs to be eradicated at all costs, you better (re-)read the Intermittent Thoughts|