If you’re anything like the rest of the world, you probably start your day off with a cup of java. Well I have some good news for you! According to a recent study, working out after having a cup of coffee may help increase your weight loss. The Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, came to discover that athletes who drank a cup of coffee before exercising burned 15% more calories for three hours post- exercise, compared to those who ingested a placebo. The dose that caused the effect was 4.5 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. For a 150- pound woman (68 kg) that is about 300 mg of caffeine, the amount in about 12 ounces of brewed coffee, which is what most people consume in a cup of coffee every morning.
If you are a coffee lover who has always looked forward to and relied on coffee to get you through the day, and you refuse to ever give it up, you’ll be happy to know that coffee has more benefits than you thought! And if you are someone who likes to stay active and workout, caffeine can offer even more functional benefits for your workouts! Take a look at five awesome reasons to prepare yourself a cup of Joe before working out!
Japanese researchers recently studied the effects of coffee on blood circulation in peoples who were not regular coffee drinkers. The participants each drank a 5-ounce of either regular or decaffeinated coffee. Then the scientist’s gauged their fingers causing blood flow to measure how well the body’s smaller blood vessels work. Patients who drank the caffeinated coffee experienced 30% increase in blood flow over a 75 minute period, compared to those who drank the decaf “coffee”. Better circulation, better workout! Your muscles need oxygen
Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30 minute workout of high intensity exercise reduced expected muscle pain. To sum it all up; coffee may help you push a little harder during strength-training workouts, resulting in better improvements in muscle strength and/or endurance.
John Hopkins University published a study this year stating that caffeine enhances memory for up to 24 hours after it is consumed. Researchers gave patients who didn’t usually drink coffee either a placebo or 200 mg of caffeine five minutes after studying several images. The following day, both groups were asked to remember the pictures that were shown the day before and the caffeinated group scored significantly higher. This brain boost may be a real benefit during workouts, especially when they require needing to remember specific exercise routines.
In an animal study at Coventry University found that caffeine helped decrease the loss muscle strength that occurs with aging. The protective effects were seen in the diaphragm which is the primary muscle used for breathing and also the skeletal muscle. The results reveal that in moderation, caffeine could help preserve overall fitness and reduce the risk of age-related injuries.
More Muscle Fuel
A study was published not too long ago in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It was discovered that a little bit of caffeine before a workout could also be beneficial, particularly for endurance athletes who have to perform every day. The research showed that consuming carbohydrates alone, a caffeine/carb combo resulted in a 66% increase in muscle glycogen four hours after intense, glycogen-depleting exercise. Glycogen, the form of carbohydrate that gets stockpiled in muscle, served as a vital energy booster during exercising to power strength moves and heightens endurance. Packing a greater reserve means that the very next time you work out, you’ve upped your ability to exercise harder and/or longer.
But this doesn’t mean you should drink as much coffee as you possibly can—because that could backfire on you. Here are some tips from Health.com on how to get the most out of your coffee before a workout:
- Don’t overdo it. The maximum amount of caffeine recommended for enhancing performance with minimal side effects is up to 6 mg per kg body weight, which is about 400 mg per day (or about 16 ounces of coffee) for a 150-pound woman.
- Incorporate it in healthy ways: doctor up coffee with almond milk and cinnamon instead of cream and sugar, or whip coffee or tea into a fruit smoothie, along with other nutrient-rich ingredients like almond butter and oats or quinoa.
- Be consistent with your intake. Research shows that when your caffeine intake is steady, your body adjusts, which counters dehydration, even though caffeine is a natural diuretic. In other words, don’t reach for two cups one day and four the next.
- Keep drinking good old H2O your main beverage of choice.
- Nix caffeine at least six hours before bed to prevent sleep interference, and listen to your body. If you’re relying on caffeine as an energy booster because you’re tired, get to the root of what’s causing fatigue. Perhaps it’s too little sleep, over exercising, or an inadequate diet. If something’s off kilter, you won’t see progress, and you’ll likely get weaker rather than stronger. Striving for balance is always key!