Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who ingested a placebo.
The dose that triggered the effect was 4.5 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. For 150-pound woman, that’s roughly 300 mg of caffeine, the amount in about 12 ounces of brewed coffee, a quantity you may already be sipping each morning.
If you’ve always thought of coffee as a vice — one you’re simply not willing to give up — you’ll be happy to know that it’s actually a secret superfood. And if you exercise, caffeine can offer even more functional benefits for your workouts.
Here are five more reasons to enjoy it as part of an active lifestyle, along with five “rules” for getting your fix healthfully.
Recent Japanese research studied the effects of coffee on circulation in people who were not regular coffee drinkers. Each participant drank a 5-ounce cup of either regular or decaffeinated coffee. Afterward, scientists gauged finger blood flow, a measure of how well the body’s smaller blood vessels work.
Those who downed “regular” (caffeinated) coffee experienced a 30% increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period, compared to those who drank the “unleaded” (decaf) version. Better circulation, better workout — your muscles need oxygen.
Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30-minute bout of high-intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain. The conclusion: caffeine may help you push just a little bit harder during strength-training workouts, resulting in better improvements in muscle strength and/or endurance.