Drinking Coffee Before Working Out

Those with a passion for fitness know the power of routine. They also know the benefit of getting that workout completed early in the morning. What they may not know is that by drinking coffee before working out, they may have a better session. Here are 5 reasons why a cup-o-joe may be the way to go.

1.)  Less Muscle Pain

The stimulate in coffee, caffeine, helps block adenosine. Adenosine is responsible for, among many things, telling the body to slow down because of pain. Perhaps this is the reason why a University of Illinois study found a connection between perceived pain and caffeine use. During this study, 25 fit male cyclists were measured on a stationary bike. They split the cyclists into two groups, daily caffeine use and rare/no caffeine use. With many of the variables controlled, they began to give the participants either a placebo or caffeine pill, then asked several times on their level of pain with the quadriceps. Not only did the study point to decreased pain with caffeine use, but pointed that long term caffeine users had the same level of benefit as new caffeine users.

2.)  More Focus Means Better Performance

Inhibiting adenosine in the body, which caffeine does, helps decrease the same urge to "hibernate" in bed. Beyond getting a person to start their workout, caffeine has another interesting effect. Increased focus during the workout led to better results. This was shown in a study completed by the British Journal of Sports Science. Within this study 18 male athletes with a mean age of 21.8 ran time trials of 1500 meters. They were then given either nothing or a small amount of coffee. The study found athletes with coffee ran the time trial 4.2 seconds faster than those without any coffee.

3.)  Faster Fat Loss

Caffeine can also boost the metabolism, which results in additional fat loss. Caffeine stimulates adrenaline in the body that tells the body to start burning the fat energy reserves. Unfortunately, this affect on the body is most pronounced with younger thin individuals versus those who may be more obese and older. A study completed for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that plasma free fatty acid levels and fax oxidation levels increased dramatically for the first three hours after caffeine ingestion. While these are just components to overall metabolic level, the fact they these numbers doubled was astounding to the study conductors. The study conductors then began to proceed with a number of controls. They found that while fax oxidation did not occur as dramatically in an obese control group. The study conductors also found that after a 735-calorie meal, the thermic effect was still significant using caffeine versus without.

4.)  Disease Prevention

Free radicals are one of the byproducts of oxygen use in our body. These molecules are highly reactive and can result in cell destruction. To prevent this the body has a mechanism called antioxidants that bind and eliminate these free radicals before they destroy the cell. These radicals complete a type of cell destruction that may be the primary cause behind cancers, heart disease, and other various ailments. The caffeine found in coffee was found to eliminate several types of free radicals. This was shown in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Within this study caffeine proved to be an excellent scavenger of hydroxyl free radical and a modest scavenger of OCH3 free radical. The hydroxyl free radical is a byproduct within the immune system, which makes caffeine a very potent immune system defender (protecting the system that protects everything else).

5.)  Increased Muscle Glycogen Replenishment After the Workout

Glycogen is the primary energy required by a muscle during a workout. A study published for the Journal of Applied Physiology found that by combining caffeine with carbohydrates versus just carbohydrates, led to a 66% increase in glycogen replenishment. Within this study seven endurance trained triathlons were screened to verify little to no prior caffeine use. They were then given instruction to have a moderate exercise the night before. The day of the study the study conductors requested these athletes to exercise till completely exhausted. Blood levels were then measured several times as the athletes recovered. During this recovery these athletes were administered specific doses of caffeine / carbohydrates. These five reasons are backed by specific research and help prove the many beneficial affects coffee can have on a workout. However, these are not the only reasons how coffee can help a workout. More research and working out needs to be completed to help round out these materials. As with anything, moderation is key. Caffeine is a diuretic, which may decrease essential hydration during the workout. Making sure of the proper hydration throughout the working is still a very important factor.

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