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      • Why your sports centre should have a coffee machine for customers

      • We’re used to seeing vending machines in leisure centres and at sports clubs; they’re usually filled with a seemingly contrary mix of sports drinks and full-fat carbonated cans, protein bars and sugary chocolate fixes. But if you aren’t leasing a commercial coffee machine for your sports centre, you’re missing a trick.

        How so?

        Just like your vending machines, coffee machines are a potential revenue source; a reason for club members to stay longer, spend more and value your service; and the coffee you serve may even offer health benefits for the people using your facilities. Your staff probably won’t object to the option of a decent caffeine kick either.

        Health benefits of coffee for sportspeople

        Caffeine has proven benefits for athletic performance. From 1984, excessive caffeine in the blood could even lead to an athlete being disqualified at the Olympic Games. The ban was lifted in 2004; just as well, since it’s rumoured that six-time gold medallist cycle king Chris Hoy so believed in (and enjoyed, we assume) his caffeine fix that he took his own coffee machine and bean grinder to each event.

        What are those benefits, then? Mainly enhanced speed and stamina. Pretty much what every sportsperson, from the most casual badminton player to international athletes, would wish for. It won’t help you make the leap from one to the other, necessarily, but it could help coffee drinkers get more from their games, and increase their physical fitness in the long term.

        Caffeine does this in several ways. It blocks the receptors for a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which is sleep-related, which means you’ll feel fatigued later rather than sooner. Good for those long rallies at the back of the court or for making it all the way through a spin class.

        And the result of that blocking move is an increase in adrenaline production – ideal for high-intensity workouts and high-octane matches. That’s not all, either. Caffeine stimulates dopamine production – a chemical compound responsible for the feel-good factor.

        Add in the other known benefits of caffeine, such as better concentration levels, and it’s an obvious drink choice for any sports club member. But if it works, why did the Olympic committee remove the ban? Because the benefits don’t rely on massive quantities after all – a single, good-strength espresso an hour before activity will deliver maximum effect. It’s so everyday, so unremarkable, that it just made no sense to maintain the ban. Of course, the benefits only really stretch to an estimated 3% improvement in performance, but little boosts can make all the difference.

        So, what sort of coffee machine should you rent for your club?

        Potentially, both of the main sorts: bean-to-cup machines and espresso machines.

        You’ll definitely benefit from an automatic, customer-operable bean-to-cup machine. Positioned in the right place, you can choose which drinks are available, and they require minimal interaction and maintenance.

        If you’ve got a canteen or bar area at the club, then you should consider a high-end bean-to-cup coffee machine for a better range of barista-served coffees, and perhaps even an espresso machine to offer a premium service to club members.

        Choosing the best coffee machine depends on the arrangement of your sports centre and the membership of your sports club. We can help you with that. For no-obligation advice and a chat about the different sorts of commercial coffee machines available to hire, just get in touch with our team on 0800 840 9023 or email info@nationwidecoffee.co.uk today.