Coffee? Really? It’s true. A cup of coffee before your workout has many benefits with very few side effects.
We’ll get one thing out of the way now — drinking caffeine, specifically coffee, doesn’t dehydrate you. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic wrote about this myth:
“Drinking caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle doesn’t cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested. While caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect — meaning that they may cause the need to urinate — they don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration.”
Now, let’s look at some of the benefits.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Science found that coffee and caffeine plays a huge role in athletic performance. The journal tested subjects who drank coffee before running a mile on the treadmill. The subjects who drank coffee beforehand finished an average of 4.2 seconds faster than the group that did not drink coffee.
Burn More Calories
Another study published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise found that subjects who took ingested coffee or caffeine before their workout burned 15% more calories for three hours post-workout. Not bad at all, huh?
Want to experience less pain after your workout? Coffee, again, to the rescue. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that subjects who consumed caffeine equaling 2-3 cups of coffee one hour before exercise or workouts experienced less muscle pains during their workout.
This one seems self-explanatory for anyone who has trouble waking up without a cup of coffee but it does provides an increase in mental focus. Of course, you can take this focus increase into the gym and keep your workouts productive and effective.
If you do plan to integrate more coffee consumption into your pre-workout plan, be sure to stick to black coffee. Creamers and sugar only increase calorie intake and could end up negating the work you do in the gym. Also, don’t exceed four cups of coffee per day. That amount of coffee intake can lead headaches, upset stomach and jitters.