Do coffee beans count as vegetables?

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I suppose that, theoretically, it is possible to exist without coffee. In theory.

I mean, I have heard of people who don’t drink coffee. I live with people who claim not to like coffee. I just don’t understand them.

I’m writing this post from a comfy leather chair while sipping a large espresso drink – no sugar, no cream, just pure, dark goodness – at one of my favorite coffee shops. This liquid manna, and a warm chocolate chip cookie, is my reward for running 22 miles today.

Yes, it was worth it.

My running is fueled by caffeine. Not only is the Americano my favorite post-run reward every Saturday … my daily runs are preceded by a pre-workout drink that includes caffeine (along with some other very important, and beneficial, ingredients).

Do coffee beans count as vegetables?

They should, just because they are so healthy (like wine, of course, in moderation). Scientists have redeemed coffee’s reputation with recent research touting the benefits of coffee to improved health. A cup or two of coffee each day has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, kidney stones, strokes, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis and dementia. Coffee contains beneficial antioxidants that help fight off free radicals.

Not only does coffee improve health, caffeine improves athletic performance.

Forget what you’ve probably heard about coffee causing you to be dehydrated. It’s not true, it’s just not. A cup (or even two, or three) of coffee will not dehydrate you. Hundreds of studies have shown that caffeine helps athletes run faster, and run farther. Caffeine:

  • delays perceived muscle soreness
  • enhances the body’s use of fat as a fuel (critical for endurance runners)
  • increases sprint speed and power
  • boosts alertness and improves reaction time

Caffeine’s benefits extend beyond the workout. Taking caffeine before a workout actually aids in recovery after a workout. That’s because caffeine induces a greater release of anti-inflammatory substances, called interleukins, thus reducing muscle soreness and speeding recovery.

This is why, 30 minutes to an hour before each hard workout, I drink a 20-ounce, mango-flavored drink called Prepare.
Prepare contains 100 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of about a cup of coffee). Prepare also contains plenty of other ingredients that boost athletic performance.

Nitric Oxide

Prepare helps me get the most out of each run, whether training or a race, by enhancing my body’s production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide expands blood vessels, which allows more blood to reach more muscles more efficiently. Nitric oxide speeds the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to working muscles, thus boosting performance.

Prepare was developed by Dr. Lou Ignarro, who earned the Nobel prize in medicine for his discovery of the importance of nitric oxide to the cardiovascular system. Outside the laboratory, Dr. Ignarro is an avid cyclist and has completed 13 marathons. His credibility is based both on his Nobel-prize-winning research and his personal experience.

Prepare contains the precursors L-Arginine, L-Citrulline and L-Ornithine aKG that cause the body to produce more nitric oxide. Prepare is the only sports nutrition product exclusively endorsed by Dr. Ignarro, a member of the Editorial and Nutrition Advisory Boards of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute. Dr. Ignarro is revolutionizing sports nutrition and performance. Sports nutrition companies are now trying to capitalize on Dr. Ignarro’s research by offering products they claim boosts the body’s nitric oxide production. Some of those may be fine products; however, many of them fall short of the claims because they try to cut corners (and costs) and neglect key elements of Dr. Ignarro’s findings.

Creatine

Prepare also contains 2,100 mg of creatine per serving. Creatine supports the fast-twitch muscle contractions required for explosive athletic movement. Creatine enables muscles to become larger and stronger by stimulating protein synthesis in muscle tissue and decreasing the breakdown of protein. Creatine also decreases mental fatigue, and in a long endurance run, mental stamina is just as important as muscle.

In addition, Prepare contains maltodextrin, a carbohydrate that provides energy and helps facilitate creatine uptake.

Bottom Line: Train hard, race hard. Prepare is invaluable in my own training, giving me the boost I need to train harder so that I can race harder.

Learn more about Prepare

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Mad Science

Not that I was ever a stellar science student in school, but I gotta admit that sometimes science can be pretty cool. Hearing some big news this week, I was reminded just how cool.

Actually, I’m reminded every day how cool science is with my morning cup of coffee, which also reminds me of a story. I’ll get to the point, and this week’s big announcement, in just a minute. Hate to leave you in suspense …

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