Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

5 Reasons to Drink Coffee Before Your Workout

By Registered dietician Cynthia Sass, Health.com

(Health.com) -- Half of Americans start their day with coffee, and according to recent study, working out after downing a cup of java may offer a weight-loss advantage.

The Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport 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.

Improved circulation

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!

Less pain

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.

Better memory

A study published this year from Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine enhances memory up to 24 hours after it's consumed. Researchers gave people who did not regularly consume caffeine either a placebo, or 200 mg of caffeine five minutes after studying a series of images. The next day, both groups were asked to remember the images, and the caffeinated group scored significantly better.

This brain boost may be a real boon during workouts, especially when they entail needing to recall specific exercises or routines.

Muscle preservation

In an animal study, sports scientists at Coventry University found that caffeine helped offset the loss of muscle strength that occurs with aging. The protective effects were seen in both the diaphragm, the primary muscle used for breathing, as well as skeletal muscle. The results indicate that in moderation, caffeine may help preserve overall fitness and reduce the risk of age-related injuries.

More muscle fuel

A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that a little caffeine post-exercise may also be beneficial, particularly for endurance athletes who perform day after day.

The research found that compared to consuming carbohydrates alone, a caffeine/carb combo resulted in a 66% increase in muscle glycogen four hours after intense, glycogen-depleting exercise. Glycogen, the form of carbohydrate that gets stockpiled in muscle, serves as a vital energy "piggy bank" during exercise, to power strength moves, and fuel endurance.

Packing a greater reserve means that the very next time you work out, you've upped your ability to exercise harder and/or longer.

But this news doesn't mean you should down as much coffee as possible -- your good intentions may backfire. In my work with athletes, I recommend five basic rules to best reap caffeine's rewards:

Don't overdo it. The maximum amount of caffeine recommended for enhancing performance with minimal side effects is up to 6 mg per kg body weight, which is about 400 mg per day (or about 16 ounces of coffee) for a 150-pound woman.

Incorporate it in healthy ways. Doctor up coffee with almond milk and cinnamon instead of cream and sugar, or whip coffee or tea into a fruit smoothie, along with other nutrient-rich ingredients like almond butter and oats or quinoa.

Be consistent with your intake. Research shows that when your caffeine intake is steady, your body adjusts, which counters dehydration, even though caffeine is a natural diuretic. In other words, don't reach for two cups one day and four the next.

Keep drinking good old H2O, your main beverage of choice.

Nix caffeine at least six hours before bed to prevent sleep interference, and listen to your body. If you're relying on caffeine as an energy booster because you're tired, get to the root of what's causing fatigue. Perhaps it's too little sleep, overexercising, or an inadequate diet. If something's off kilter, you won't see progress, and you'll likely get weaker rather than stronger. Striving for balance is always key!

Source: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/?hpt=sitenav

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
CEBS
CHHS News
GFCB
Ogden News
PCAL
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
Transportation
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Police
Emergency Preparedness
Facilities
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
DELO News
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Employee Wellness
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WellU
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
The ultimate cheat sheet on finding the right college

Don’t worry; there are a few steps that you can take early in the process to ensure that you’re able to find the right fit.

The ultimate cheat sheet on finding the right college

Don’t worry; there are a few steps that you can take early in the process to ensure that you’re able to find the right fit.

PS1 Entrance Ramp on Ave of Champions Closed

June 27th-30th

Featured Articles
Gatton Academy Students Conducting Summer Research in South Korea

Two Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky students are spending their summer completing research internships in South Korea. The 10-week internships are in the Chemistry Department of Changwon National University.

With Spirit Funder support, WKU Storm Chasers documented multiple tornadoes

This year for Dr. Josh Durkee’s annual Field Methods in Weather Analysis and Forecasting class, the students had some extra support in the form of WKU’s new crowdsource funding project, Spirit Funder.

Board of Regents to hold special budget approval, committee meetings June 23

The WKU Board of Regents will hold a special budget approval meeting and committee meetings on June 23 in the Martin Regents Room, Jody Richards Hall.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 5/2/17