Now the box has a new coffee machine it is a great time to look into why, as athletes, we would want to have a pre-workout coffee.

Not only does coffee taste great and help to wake us up in the morning it can also have a positive effect on our athletic performance. Although it is important to stress that too many coffees can lead to insomnia, anxiety and the jitters.

A peer-reviewed study on The Metabolic and Performance Effects of Caffeine Compared to Coffee during Endurance Exercise by Hodgson, Randell and Jeukendrup (2013) concluded that caffeine and coffee “consumed 1 hour prior to exercise can improve endurance exercise performance”. It found that the performance times for athletes consuming both caffeine and coffee were significantly faster than those athletes who consumed the placebo or decaf coffee.

Coffee is also high in antioxidants which protect the cells inside the human body from damage by free radicals.

Opposed to popular belief coffee does not, in fact, dehydrate you. A 2005 study by Armstrong (In't J Sports Nutr) found that urine losses throughout the day were the same whether the person consumed caffeine or not (however it is important as an athlete to consume plenty of water throughout the day regardless of how much coffee you consume).

Coffee can also reduce the amount of pain you perceive during exercise. Research published in the 2009 International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism discovered that a “jolt” of caffeine (like you would find in an 8 ounce cup of coffee) can reduce the amount of pain perceived by moderate coffee drinkers if taken before exercise.

It also can delay exhaustion. Research out of Coventry University (2012) had a group of young men tested to failure on bench press, deadlift, squat and barbell row at 60% of their one rep max. Results found that the athletes who did not consume caffeine reached exhaustion much faster than those who did. "Essentially, we found that with the caffeinated drink, the person felt more able to invest effort," said Michael Duncan, a senior lecturer in sports science at the University of Exeter in England and lead author of the study.

75mg of caffeine has been proven to increase both attention and alertness for about four hours and it may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by about 25%. “A large number of epidemiological studies report an inverse, dose-responsive relationship between coffee/caffeine consumption and the risk of developing Parkinson’s” and “regular coffee/caffeine consumption over a lifetime reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, particularly in the elderly” (Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee) . What this means is that coffee appears to delay or reduce the development of these diseases.

Last but not least, coffee can make you feel happier. The reason suggested for this is that coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin or dopamine.