When training and working out, we always want to find and use something that can give us that little extra edge – after all, all competitive athletes look for just that: a sprinter only needs to shave off a fraction of a second, a baseball player just needs to hit the ball a little bit harder, and a football player just needs a little more agility.
Fortunately, one (totally legal and healthy) substance that does wonders for giving that little edge is coffee.
Coffee contains generous amounts of caffeine, which has been clinically proven to improve focus, increase performance, and even help burn fat faster.
Before you pop into your neighborhood Starbucks and order a Venti Latte(loaded with sugar and cream), take note: since you’re going to be working out, you want to consume the least amount of calories possible and the most amount of caffeine, in one go.
Caffeine gives a boost to your central nervous system, which can keep you more focused on your workout. In fact, in a study, researchers had subjects complete two moderate workouts on a stationary bike.
In one workout, they were given a good dose of caffeine, and in the other workout, they were given a placebo. The subjects later reported that the caffeinated workout was much easier!
As an added bonus, the caffeine kept them more focused on their diets, too – they ended up consuming nearly 70 calories less than usual.
Caffeine gives a nice performance boosting buzz – which can be powerfully utilized before a workout session.
A study showed that athletes who consumed caffeine before completing a 1500 meter run completed the run an average of 4.2 seconds faster than athletes in the control group who had not had any caffeine.
Considering that 4.2 seconds was the average across all participants, you can see that there was quite a broad effect on everyone who took caffeine.
Caffeine can give you that extra boost to finish your reps or run the last lap!
Here are some startling results from one study:
- Powerlifters reported a 20% increase in performance
- Sprinters reported a 6.5% increase in performance
- The perceived rate of fatigue decreased by 6%
Burn fat faster
Caffeine has a three-pronged attack on the fat cells in your body(but don’t just go drinking 20 cups of coffee every day!)
When consumed before a workout, caffeine promotes burning up fat stores for the energy required in the session.
Also, when you have coffee before working out, your metabolism remains higher throughout the day, which means you’ll be burning calories more efficiently, and caffeine along with other substances found in coffee also function as an appetite suppressant, meaning you may eat less throughout the day.
Coffee and caffeine, when used smartly can be a huge edge in working out – but if you work out in the evening and you find that coffee is messing with your sleep cycle, find another solution – the sleep you lose out on does far more damage than the benefits your boosted workout can provide.