Coffee and Exercise

You’ve heard the buzz about how coffee improves your physical performance when you’re exercising. But, how true is that statement? According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, caffeine leads to exercise being more enjoyable and less difficult.

Many of us like to start the day with a morning coffee either from our coffee pot at home or from our office coffee equipment. A study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism points to this being a good habit. Trained athletes who took caffeine before exercising burned around 15 percent more calories than those who took a placebo.

Health.com outlines several ways coffee can help you with your exercise regime:

  • Provides you with more muscle fuel. Take a little coffee before you start your workout to work out for longer.
  • Preserves your muscles. Sports scientists at Coventry University discovered that caffeine offsets loss of muscle strength that happens as we age. Studies indicate that caffeine may reduce the risk of age-related injuries and preserve overall fitness.
  • Improves your memory. After you take it, caffeine can enhance your memory for a full 24 hours.
  • Stops pain. You can reduce muscle pain by taking two to three cups of coffee an hour before a 30-minute training session, according to scientists from the University of Illinois.
  • Better circulation. Japanese researchers found that drinking coffee improves your circulation. Your muscles need oxygen for a good workout.

Coffee helps your workouts but do keep in mind that large doses of caffeine can upset your stomach and give you headaches, palpitations, and the shakes. Start off with small doses if you’re thinking of using caffeine to enhance your workouts. Keep in mind that if you add sugar to your coffee, you get a sugar rush and then a crash, which could be counterproductive for your workout. Try taking one cup of coffee an hour before you exercise and see how it positively affects you.

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