Here are some benefits to drinking coffee before you go break a sweat at the gym:
Burn More Fat:
Caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that have been proven to help aid fat burning. Studies have shown that having a cup or two of coffee before you workout can help you burn more fat. The reason for this is that caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat. Caffeine also increases our blood levels of the hormone epinephrine, which travels through the body, to the fat tissues and sends them signals to break down fats and release them into the blood.
Coffee can also increase your metabolic rate. The higher your metabolic rate, the easier it is to burn more calories and lose more weight. However, studies have shown the effect to be less pronounced in people who are obese.
A Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who did not ingest coffee.
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Better circulation means a better workout! A recent Japanese study concluded that participants that downed caffeinated coffee experienced a 30% increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period, compared to those who drank decaffeinated coffee.
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Feel Less Pain:
Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30-minute bout of high-intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain.
The conclusion: caffeine may help you push just a little bit harder during strength-training workouts, resulting in better improvements in muscle strength and/or endurance.
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Several studies have demonstrated a link between caffeine intake before exercise and increased athletic performance. A report published in Sports Medicine refers to caffeine as a “powerful ergogenic aid,” and mentions that athletes can “train at a greater power output and/or train longer” after caffeine consumption. Another study published in the British Journal of Sports Science found that subjects who consumed coffee before running 1500 meters on the treadmill completed their run 4.2 seconds faster than the control group, on average. In addition the study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded that soccer players who consumed caffeine dribbled, headed and kicked the ball more accurately than without caffeine.
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Beat the Fatigue:
Studies continue to show that people who consume coffee are able to train longer. Caffeine reduces adenosine levels, which is a substance that builds up in the muscles during exercise and causes your muscles to get tired and weakened. The reduction in adenosine levels enables you to use more forceful muscle contractions and delays fatigue.
- A common myth about coffee is that is causes dehydration. While caffeine is a diuretic, studies looking at caffeine use in high-temperature exercise situations show that it does not lead to dehydration or subsequent decreases in performance. However, staying super hydrated with H20 is always important whether you are working out or not.
- Caffeine affects everyone differently. Make sure to know your limits and be smart about your caffeine intake. Burning a few extra calories is not as important as feeling mentally stable and being able to sleep at night, so please do not go too crazy on the caffeine.
- Lastly, if you are trying to lose or even main your weight, be careful about adding any sugar or heavy creams to your cup of coffee as that will add a whole lot of calories!