There’s a reason why coffee is used as a stimulant ingredient in many performance supplements. Coffee influences nearly every system of the body, particularly your metabolism, mood, and alertness. Drinking coffee before exercise can help improve your workout and keep exhaustion at bay.
There’s the calories burned during exercise, but there’s also the calories burned post exercise, and ingesting coffee before exercise helps to increase your resting metabolic rate so that you burn more calories post exercise as well—by as much as 3-11%! The more caffeine you take in, the more your fat burning and metabolism are enhanced. Studies have shown that lean and fit people experience the most increase, by as much as 29%, whereas obese individuals increase resting metabolic rate by as high as 10% with the help of caffeine.
Another study showed that when trained athletes ingested caffeine before exercise they burned 15% more calories three hours post workout compared to trained athletes who took a placebo.
Stimulate Fat Burning
Drinking coffee and other forms of caffeine before exercise can help free up fat from fat tissues so that it can be used as fuel and energy for the workout. A 2004 study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that caffeine boosted exercise performance by as much as 12%. Caffeine elevates levels of the hormone epinephrine, which travels through the bloodstream to our fat tissues, where it helps trigger the release of fats as free fatty acids, which our body then burns through for energy as we workout. The more energy you have, especially in the form of fats, the more endurance you have throughout the workout.
Feel Better and Enjoy More Energy
Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that acts as a relaxant, suppressing arousal and promoting sleep. Caffeine from coffee inhibits the release of adenosine, and in doing so activates neurons and the release of arousal-stimulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Which is why caffeine influences brain processes such as memory, mood, vigilance, and energy, and increases reaction times.
Less Pain, More Gain
Recent research published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance indicates that fueling the body with caffeine before strength training helps to maximize the amount of weight lifted and the number of reps performed. Researchers theorize that caffeine is able to suppress the pain response so that the muscles don’t reach the point of exhaustion so quickly.
The Right Dose
It’s all in the dose. Too much caffeine could leave you jittery and anxious, unable to focus and with insomnia. When it comes to reaping the exercise benefits of caffeine, experts recommend consuming 3 to 9 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. So, for reference, a 6-ounce cup of coffee has 60-180 mg of caffeine, which is best consumed one hour before exercise. Because the body adapts to caffeine, it’s suggested to cycle caffeine intake every two weeks in order to keep the benefits coming.