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Coffee & Athletic Performance - A Pro Golfer Tests Our Coffee - Round #1

Caffeine – the fuel of the modern world, helping new parents’ power through those sleepless nights or sustaining you through 6 hours of zoom meetings, its importance to modern life can’t be overstated. We all have that grumpy co-worker who can barely get a sentence out before their morning coffee! As well as your everyday coffee drinker, coffee has a well-documented overlap with the world of cycling, with many a professional, or amateur, cyclist swearing by an espresso to help maintain their energy levels, or just enjoying a coffee break as part of their ride.

This “performance boosting” idea is something that we've read a little bit about, yet never seemed like something we'd get a chance to investigate. We drink plenty of coffee as it is, but by the time any of us want to exercise we’re normally all coffee-d out! So when Robert Prior came to us saying he wanted the benefits of caffeine in his training regime as a Professional Golfer, we were more than happy to assist him with his plan.

He approached us at the beginning of the year with the idea of creating a blend of coffee that is specifically designed to boost performance on & off season – we talked about dark roasts vs light, Arabica vs Robusta beans, harvest & origin, various brewing methods, milk or no milk etc. We ultimately decided that the best way to see if this idea had any legs was for Rob to document a few blends with different profiles and caffeine content. Rob is closely monitoring his performance through: training, practice, tournaments & subsequently his overall health whilst sampling different combinations.

We kick started this performance journey with our Colombian Excelso – a fantastic coffee as an espresso or from a Moka pot, and one that people would consider one of our "stronger" coffees. Previous to this Rob had been training without any caffeine boost beforehand, and during this month period he would drink a 3 cup Moka pot worth of espresso before exercise. Here is what Robert Prior had to say:

“This coffee has been amazing. My performance has shot through the roof which is really good. The combination of practice, with Wim Hof meditation, really thinking about my breathing, brings my heart rate right down dramatically even after indulging in a few espressos from this coffee.
As far as exercise goes, I’m hitting all my personal bests as well as sustaining the exercises for longer. It’s been bridging the gap between the feeling of “oh I don’t feel like it” or “I can’t be arsed”, to me getting up and feeling raring to go. You could argue that it’s a lot more mental attitude than anything else, but even so for me with this coffee it’s been that catalyst to get me moving and removes that procrastination.
For the first 2 weeks it was very potent and slightly harsh in the mouth. After chatting with Matt it seems that was most likely how I was making it in the Moka pot, probably letting it heat too much and burning it in the top chamber. Slowly as I got better and after the months’ worth of practice I definitely got better and that harshness went away.
I did notice over the month period that the initial caffeine boost, power, drive (whatever we want to call it) started to fade and noticed less and less of that caffeine buzz. Having said that it still seemed to help me sustain my workouts and give me that motivation to keep going.
I’m super keen to try something with a higher caffeine content, how it would affect me mentally with a less harsh impact on the mouth than the espresso – maybe considering a different brew method?
I’ve got probably 2 cups worth left of coffee now so I’m going to treat myself now – look forward to the next steps!”

Robert will be coming to us shortly to dive deeper into the realm of coffee & why he chose Copper Coffee Roasters to aid his Professional Golf career.

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