Industry Insights

Coffee May Be Your Best Workout Partner

By Jennifer Sgro-Stovall

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Coffee’s popularity rises even higher as consumers learn that it helps improve exercise performance

We’ve all heard that coffee is full of antioxidants and health benefits, from protecting against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease to increasing liver function. But did you know that the caffeine in coffee is also good for your health?

Not only does caffeine heighten our alertness, it also gives our exercise performance a boost. According to a 2015 Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) survey, 34% of consumers know that caffeine can improve their exercise performance. So, potentially 1 /3 of the population will be grabbing a coffee as a workout partner. And that number will grow as more and more consumers learn that coffee can make their exercise routine more effective.

So, how does it work? Drinking coffee one hour before exercise improves our endurance by using our fat as fuel – an effect that can last for hours! And if that isn’t incentive enough to grab a cup before heading to the gym, coffee makes us feel more motivated to exercise, as it boosts the concentration of ‘feel good’ endorphins in the brain. And endorphins are also known as natural pain killers, so we’ll be able to work out longer.

As Canadians, we love our coffee and we especially like it to be convenient. A full 35% of our cups are enjoyed outside the home, according to a study by the Coffee Association of Canada (CAC). We drink over 2 billion servings of coffee a year, and we’re second only to Italians in the number of restaurant coffees we consume. Buon appetito!

Canadian coffee drinkers are getting younger, trendier and gravitating toward more specialty coffees, like lattes and iced coffees. Millennials are driving the demand for on-trend specialty coffee drinks, and cold microfoam machines are leading the wave of flavour-enhancing technology, sought after by the best baristas and discerning consumers, alike.

With its stellar popularity, undeniable health benefits and constant flavour innovation, coffee continues to be the category to watch. We’re willing to spend a considerable amount of money on our coffee, and most of us don’t go a single day without having at least one cup. Coffee lovers have even coined the term, procaffeinating, to describe the tendency to not start anything until they’ve had their coffee. Other than tap water, coffee is Canada’s # 1 preferred beverage. It’s no wonder – when it can improve our health and even help us get a better workout. Buon appetito, indeed!

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