If you’re like most of us, you can’t start your day without a steaming, hot cup of brain-fog clearing coffee. In North America over 400 million cups of coffee are consumed each day with 65% of that taking place during breakfast. And according to the HuffPost, 31% of us consider brewing a cup the most important part of our morning and do it before anything else! Especially for those of us who like to get our workouts in earlier rather than later.

Aside from small dent it might make in your wallet if you indulge in a coffee shop espresso or designer latte each morning, the question is, does it do more harm than good? Fortunately the answer is basically yes! Though it’s been blamed for heart disease or stunting growth, research conducted by the Mayo Clinic suggests there is no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease. 

As for benefits beyond making it possible to have a morning conversation, focus on tasks by improving cognitive function and reducing depression, it can also protect against Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and Parkinson’s. 

There’s also loads of research to suggest coffee is the ideal component for your fitness regimen. That means a cup before a workout in the studio can mean a better workout.

  • Boosts performance by as 12% by increasing adrenaline levels. 
  • Helps you burn fat adding efficiency to your workout.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels because it contains magnesium and potassium, which could help you lose weight.
  • It’s a stimulant so it makes you feel good by boosting neurotransmitters. 

Of course all this happy info comes with caveats. Excessive coffee consumption, especially amongst younger people who drink a lot of coffee, isn’t ideal. Additionally drinking large amounts of unfiltered coffee like espresso has been linked to high cholesterol. The other things to consider are the coffee add-ons. Sure you might manage to steer clear of a muffin or cookie, but adding milk, cream or sugar to your coffee adds calories and fat. There are 190 calories in an average Latte compared to zero in an Americano although those calories also provide 13 grams of protein. 

And because caffeine is a diuretic it’s important to keep track of your water consumption. Like booze and salt, dehydration makes your liver work harder than usual to flush toxins. Those toxins can cause skin blemishes like acne. The corollary is that the caffeine found in coffee as a well as black and green tea contains antioxidants that assist in protecting your skin from sun damage. 

So the takeaway from all this? Coffee, in moderation is actually beneficial to your overall fitness, cognitive intuitiveness and well being. Just be sure to balance it out with sufficient water intake and try to drink it earlier in the day. 

Our recommendation for great Toronto coffee? The Framewrk neighbourhood is full of amazing coffee shops. Where we sit in Riverside we are privileged to have many high quality coffee shops to choose from. Also, just down the road to the east in Leslieville or west in Corktown there’s no lack of great options to relax and enjoy.

Here are three of our favs right next to the studio:

Merchants of Green Coffee 2 Matilda Street. The warehouse setting is casual but cozy and their fair trade coffee selection is outstanding. You can relax or get some work in before Pilates, Essentrics or your fav Fitness class.

Dark Horse Espresso 630 Queen East. The atmosphere is quiet and comfortable with big bright windows .You can spend hours in there enjoying Toronto’s East side. Since it’s right next door to the studio you can grab a coffee on the way to your morning class to fuel your workout.

The Cannonball 508 Queen Street East. A funky hidden gem this Riverside coffee shop has delicious light lunch options and a patio in the back where you can enjoy Toronto’s warmer days.