Are coffee and yoga essential ingredients in your morning routine? If so, you’re in good company. Celebrities such as Mila Kunis, Bella Hadid, and Selena Gomez have all been pictured with an iced latte in hand on their way to the yoga studio.
But is this combination a good way to start your day? Individually, both morning yoga and coffee are great for waking you up and giving you a much-needed energy boost. Although, indulging in too much caffeine before yoga might not be the best idea.
Let’s take a look at how switching up your morning routine could be more beneficial for both your body and mind.
The Effects of Caffeine on the Body
It’s safe to say that the US is a nation of coffee lovers. Americans consume 280.5 million cups of coffee per day, with 44 percent of adults opting to drink coffee first thing in the morning.
Many people choose to start their morning with filtered pour over coffee because of the caffeine it contains, swearing by their morning cup to help them wake up and face the day ahead. But caffeine does more than wake you up. It also acts as a central nervous system stimulant, effecting your body in many different ways.
One of the most obvious and immediate effects of caffeine is alertness. Many coffee drinkers say that this effect helps them maintain their focus for a busy day ahead. Although, not everyone has the same reaction to caffeine. Some people say that coffee’s stimulant effects make them feel nervous and jittery, possibly because of the way it causes a spike in blood pressure.
Coffee is also a diuretic, meaning that it dehydrates you. Although, combining your morning coffee with a tall glass of water can help offset this effect. Another thing to bear in mind is that coffee is acidic and can cause acid reflux symptoms in people who are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
The Benefits of Morning Yoga
We understand that practicing yoga in the morning takes a lot more effort than making a cup of coffee. The die-hard coffee fans among you might even be reluctant to do anything before your morning cup of the good stuff. But a morning yoga session offers a lot of benefits for your body and mind.
Even a quick 10 minutes of slow and mindful practice can help boost your mood and change your mindset. Yoga encourages you to focus on breathing, meditation, and holding poses, which in turn can help the endocrine system generate hormones for long-term body maintenance.
As well as an early metabolism boost, a morning yoga session can stimulate your digestive system and reduce bloating. What’s more, it’s natural to want to stretch out your muscles after a night in bed. Morning yoga takes this one step further by encouraging a deeper stretch alongside a focused effort to increase long-term strength and flexibility.
Last but not least, practicing yoga in the morning helps wake up your body and mind by stimulating the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body. In particular, sun salutations, bends, and twists help to boost your energy levels from head to toe. As such, yoga offers a natural form of stimulation to set you up for the day ahead.
Is it Best to Have Caffeine Before Yoga, or After?
If you’re used to the caffeine kick of a morning cup of coffee, it’s possible that you’ll find the stimulating effects of yoga to be lacking. In this case, you might prefer to combine coffee and a morning yoga session as a way to get the best of both worlds. But which should come first, coffee, or yoga?
Some people might argue that the energy and focus that caffeine provides can help motivate you to complete activities like morning yoga when all you want to do is stay in bed. There’s also a lot of evidence to suggest that drinking coffee before a workout can help you perform better and enjoy exercising more.
That said, these studies have focused on the effects of caffeine before endurance sports like long-distance running, as well as weight training and team sports such as soccer. Since yoga is such a different discipline, it’s unclear whether caffeine would help fuel sun salutations and downward dogs in the same way. Or, indeed, whether drinking caffeine before yoga could actually have adverse effects on your morning yoga session.
By increasing your blood pressure, caffeine does little to help you get into the relaxed and centered state of mind you’ll need before your morning yoga session. Caffeine’s potential to cause acid reflux may also hinder your ability to complete certain poses, especially if they involve a lot of twisting and turning. Also, the dehydrating effects of coffee mean that you’re much better off sticking to water before a workout to ensure proper hydration throughout.
With all this in mind, it’s worth seeing how your body responds if you wait to have coffee until after doing yoga. If you already enjoy the stimulating effects of morning yoga, trying it without coffee could help you wake up in a slower, more mindful way. And, if you’re unconvinced that anything could replace your morning caffeine hit, try swapping your coffee for yoga once. You might be surprised how much better you feel after an energizing morning yoga session!
Combining Coffee and Yoga in Your Morning Routine
Coffee and yoga might sound like the perfect way to wake up. But if you’re used to downing a cup of coffee before you hit the mat, you could be limiting the beneficial effects of a morning yoga session.
In the same way that caffeine can make one person alert and another jittery, adding yoga into the mix only allows for more individual differences. As such, it’s worth switching up your routine to see if you notice any difference in your mood and energy levels. You never know, you might find that morning yoga gives you more of a boost than even the strongest cup of coffee ever could!
For more personal development tips and mental health advice, be sure to check out our other blog posts.