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5 Reasons to Drink Coffee Before Your Workout
More than half of us will start our morning out with coffee. But did you know that working out after that morning cup of Joe just might help you to lose weight? A study done in Spain that was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism discovered that well trained athletes who drank coffee before their exercise routine burned 15 percent more calories for as long as 3 hours after they finished exercising. The amount they were given was about a 12 ounce cup of coffee, very similar to the amounts Americans drink each morning.
If you previously thought coffee was nothing more than a bad habit, or if you are like most of us and you simply aren’t willing to give it up, then you should know that coffee is actually a little known superfood. When you are exercising, the caffeine in coffee can offer you much more functional benefits from your workout routine.
Check out these 5 reasons to love that morning cup of coffee even more.
1. Less Pain
A recent study showed that drinking two to three cups of coffee one hour before a workout routine reduced the perceived amount of muscle pain participants felt. This study was done at the University of Illinois. Scientists believe that the caffeine helps to push you a bit harder during your strength training workouts and this will result in improvements in muscle strength as well as in endurance. Find out top 6 ways to reduce muscle and joint pain.
2. Improved circulation
A recent study done in Japan studied the effects that coffee would have on the circulation of people who weren’t normally coffee drinkers. Each subject drank about 5 ounces of either decaf or regular coffee. Researchers then measured the flow of blood to the fingertips. This was meant to measure how well the body’s smaller sized blood vessels work. Those who had regular coffee had as much as a 30 percent increase in blood flow over a 75 minute time period compared to persons who drank decaffeinated coffee. Better circulation means more oxygen to your muscles!
SEE ALSO: Top 6 Coffee Alternatives
3. Improved memory
John Hopkins University conducted a study that found that the caffeine in coffee can enhance the memory for as long as 24 hours after it was consumed. Scientists gave subject who did not regularly drink coffee either a placebo, or 200 mg of coffee 5 minutes after they studies a series of pictures. The next day, when both groups were asked to remember those pictures, the group that received the coffee scored dramatically better. This little boost to the brain can be a real boon during workouts, especially when recalling certain exercise routines or practices.
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4. More fuel for your muscles
Another study that was recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology discovered that a small amount of caffeine after exercising can also help, especially for those well-trained athletes who work out almost every day. This study found that compared to eating carbs alone, a carb/caffeine combination resulted in an almost unbelievable 66 percent increase in the glycogen found in muscles as long as 4 hours after hard exercise. Glycogen is the way muscles store carbs, serves as a vital energy source that can be called upon during strenuous exercise, to fuel your endurance and for those power strength moves. When you have a greater reserve to call on, the next time you work out, you will be able to exercise harder and/or longer.
5. Preservation of muscle
Animal studies done by sports scientists at Coventry University discovered that the caffeine in coffee helped to offset the loss of muscle strength that naturally occurs with aging. The protective effects of caffeine were seen in the skeletal muscles as well as the diaphragm, the main muscle used for breathing. This indicates that, in moderation, coffee might help preserve your overall fitness and reduce the risk of age-related damage or injuries.
Now this doesn’t mean you should gulp as much coffee as you possibly can! To get the best results from coffee, follow these guidelines:
- Incorporate coffee in healthy ways – Add coconut milk and/or cinnamon instead of cream and sugar. Or try whipping coffee or tea into a smoothie along with other healthy ingredients such as almond butter or oats.
- Don’t overdo it – The maximum amount of caffeine recommended for these performance enhancements is about 6 mgs per kilo of body weight. Which works out to about 16 ounces of coffee for a 150 pound person.
- Be consistent – Research show that when your coffee intake is steady, your body adjusts to it, which will counter any dehydration that comes with the caffeine. So don’t drink one cup Monday and four cups Tuesday. Be a consistent two cup a day person and your body will adjust.
- Continue to drink water the remainder of the day.
- Stop drinking coffee at least 6 hours before bed time – if you find you must have coffee just to make it through the day, you probably aren’t sleeping enough. Get to the root of the cause and don’t use coffee as a crutch.
- Remember, everything in moderation, including moderation.