When the aroma of coffee fills the air, it’s hard to resist temptation. We all know that a cup of your favourite java can motivate you to get out of bed in the morning. Most of us delight in at least one daily dose of this magical potion to help us transform our morning state from despondent ogre to magnificent mortal 😉.
Coffee is a great pick-me-up and a ‘hot’ beverage of choice when it comes to bringing people together. Apparently, it’s also a good pre-workout drink as it could give us the lift we need to set the bar high at the gym. Many trainers and athletes praise coffee’s energizing and fat-burning effects. Some even prefer sipping on brew instead of using pre-workout supplements as they contain the same active ingredient: caffeine.
But are there any scientific studies that offer support for coffee’s workout-related perks; or could it be that coffee isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be?
Drinking coffee has been linked to improved athletic performance. According to an article published in the International Society of Sports Nutrition, “caffeine is effective for enhancing various types of performance when consumed in low-to-moderate doses.”
Trained cyclists were subjected to two hours of cycling and received three treatments on separate occasions: caffeine, glucose polymer, and placebo. Results indicated a significant advantage in performance following caffeine consumption. Halfway into two hours of cycling, fat oxidation was significantly increased above that of the control (placebo) and glucose trials, which meant that the cyclists burned more fat after consuming caffeine.
One more study found that coffee before a workout increases an athlete’s ability to draw extra energy and enhance their performance, particularly during endurance workouts.
When should you drink your cuppa joe?
Timing is everything! If you’re going to use coffee as a workout supplement, you can’t just count on your morning brew to pull you through your 6 PM spinning class.
If you’re looking to hit the gym when your caffeine boost is at its most powerful, you’ll have to drink a cup of coffee roughly 45 minutes before working out. This way you will experience the peak of your caffeine fix during your workout session.
How much coffee should you drink before a workout?
According to Heidi Skolnik, Owner of Nutrition Conditioning Inc, you only need 250 to 300mg of caffeine each day to benefit from its performance-enhancing effects. The exact amount may vary depending on your body weight and fitness goals.
Take note: Coffee is a stimulant; too much of it can make you feel jittery and nauseous. Just take it easy and stick to 1-3 cups a day.
Armed with the knowledge of why you should drink coffee 45 minutes before your workout, maybe give it a go and test this hypothesis for yourself the next time you plan on working up a sweat? Just remember to drink enough water; and don’t forget the protein as it’s still super important for muscle recovery.
As with most things in life, moderation is key. This applies to coffee as well. For best results, consider having your cup of pre-workout coffee without milk and sugar. Now, go get that ripped summer body you’ve always wanted, one sip at a time 😉.
Bottoms up and cheers to a delicious cup of life!