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Updated: Sep 4, 2021

Debating whether or not you should have that second cup of coffee?

It is reported in the medical field that coffee helps improve bowel movement by increasing the motility of smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal tract. Drinking coffee could potentially also bring a healthier microbiome.

A fairly recent study links caffeine consumption to a healthy gut microbiome. The microorganisms that live in your digestive tract and affect your overall health.

Of the 34 individuals involved, follow up trials revealed that the microbiomes of habitual coffee drinkers (two or more cups of coffee a day) were significantly healthier than those who consumed little to no coffee (1).

"The gut microbiome seems to be the missing link between diet and the incidence of chronic diseases," said Dr. Hana Kahleova, director of Clinical Research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (2).

Coffee as pre-workout

Caffeine is also a well-studied performance enhancing supplement, particularly for physical performance improvement, but also been shown to have some acute cognitive benefits. (3)

Having coffee before a workout has not only been shown to enhance performance, particularly for endurance workouts (4), but it can also “enhance resistance exercise performance to failure and enhance psychophysiological factors related to exertion” (5)

As if all that wasn’t good enough, adding chocolate powder on top has been shown to enhanced fat-burning in exercise participants. “Trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15 percent more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who ingested a placebo.” (6)

Be mindful though, that the caffeine molecule is considered a stomach irritant, it can be a trigger for sufferers of IBS and coffee should not be consumed as a substitute to water.

But overall, if you love coffee, enjoy it and follow your gut!

1. Li Jiao, American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting presentation. Oct 2019.

2. H Kahleova, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine presentation. Oct 2019.

3. F O’Callaghan et al., Effects of caffeine on sleep quality and daytime functioning. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2018; 11: 263–271

4. PW Mumford et al., Effect of Caffeine on Golf Performance and Fatigue during a Competitive Tournament. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Jan;48(1):132-8.

6. VE Fernández-Elías et al., Ingestion of a Moderately High Caffeine Dose Before Exercise Increases Postexercise Energy Expenditure. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Feb;25(1):46-53

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