The Coffee and Cycling Love Affair Explained

Have you ever asked yourself whether it would be a good idea to drink a cup of coffee before cycling? In honor of International Coffee Day, Sawako is here to tell you the answer is yes. In fact, there is a strong relationship between coffee and cycling today. 

Caffeine has long been considered a trade tool of the cyclist. The British Coffee Association says that coffee is “a mild central nervous system stimulant that prompts the release of adrenaline for energy.” Coffee has the ability to help us exercise better and longer. It helps our bodies to burn fat as fuel and reduces pain and fatigue. These qualities make coffee perfect for endurance sports. 

In that light, coffee companies have cultivated a bond between caffeine and bicycling since the 1960s. In 1969, Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France riding for the Faema Espresso team. Today, coffee companies like IntelligentsiaEquatorSegafredoInoxpranCafé de Colombia, and Saeco carry cycling into the 21st century through prominent sponsorships. 

Going further than sponsorship, there is even the Intelligentsia Cup, a 10-day series of races that is developing competitive racing in the Chicago area.

Lastly, the possible coffee stop is a ritual among cyclists, who often use the cafe as a social destination.

Caffeine levels can vary, and it is advisable to avoid milk when you’re hopping on a bike for a ride. If you decide to reach for a cup of coffee before your ride to reap the benefits of caffeine, here are some suggestions courtesy Costa, a British coffee company:

Best pre-ride:Double Espresso; 185mg caffeine, 6cal, 0.4g protein, 0.8g carbohydrate, 0.2g fat.

Best mid-ride: Medium Americano (with a splash of skimmed milk); 277mg caffeine, 18cal, 1.6g protein, 2.6g carbohydrate, 0.3g fat.

Best for recovery: Medium Mocha (with full fat milk); 75mg caffeine, 301cal, 10.7g protein, 57.4g carbohydrate, 11.3g fat.

Now that you know about the relationship between coffee and cycling, as well as the benefits of caffeine, and the best way to drink it when cycling, we wish you a happy coffee day, and happy cycling!




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