Coffee.  About half of American adults drink some every day.  Some number of others drink tea or some other caffeine-containing drink.  This, the likely result of too much work/stress and too little sleep, it is, in a way, what we run on.  And as it turns out, studies are piling up with regards to why caffeine may be good as a pre-workout drink and post-exercise snack.  Caffeine?  Yes!

Recently, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that drinking caffeine before a workout led to more energy expenditure fat burn, and to less fat consumption than did exercise alone.  What this means is that caffeine may enhance the effect of exercise on our bodies.  It helps us to burn more before, during, and after our workouts (perhaps from the jolt of energy it gives) and somehow helps us make what may be healthier food choices. Of course, these findings indicate that structured workouts are needed for these results to appear, meaning that it may be best to make sure that our daily exercise is not just a walk up the stairs.

The results of this study are an addition to previous findings on the benefits of caffeine (specifically, coffee) in exercise.  Among the benefits that have already been established are:

  1. Improves blood circulation in those who don’t drink coffee regularly
  2. Decreases your sense of muscle pain during your workout
  3. Helps improve memory, making it easier to complete steps and routines in your workout
  4. Works to counter the loss of muscular strength that results with age
  5. If consumed post-workout, can increase muscle energy, which comes in handy for your next workout

Despite all the proven benefits of coffee/caffeine, doctors still caution against consuming too much.  The key to reaping these benefits is to do so in balance, and without forgetting to hydrate with water frequently.  By exercising caution and maintaining healthy eating habits, you may find that coffee (or other sources of caffeine) are great additions to your exercise routine.  If you’re interested in learning more about caffeine and exercise, talk to our weight loss coach today!