Science: Drink coffee before your workout to burn more calories, faster

New research shows that caffeine can supercharge your workout – even if you’re a regular coffee drinker.

Ever have the alarm go off for your morning run before the sun is up and wish you could wakeup with a coffee before hitting the pavement? Now, science suggests that you should – in fact, you should have four cups.

According to a study of athletes published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, drinking four cups of coffee before exercising helps you burn more calories, faster. While previous research had indicated that regular coffee drinkers become immune to the benefits of a caffeine boost, this study contradicts that. Researches determined that the effects of consuming 400mg of caffeine before working out were noticeable even in people regularly drink coffee.

The research team interviewed 40 competitive male cyclists about their regular caffeine intake and then split them into three groups: those whose caffeine intake was high, those who consumed little caffeine, and those who took in none at all.

The cyclists were then asked to ride as strenuously as they could until they burned off 450 calories. One hour before cycling, some were given a pill containing 400mg of caffeine, others were given a placebo, and others no pill at all.

Regardless of their regular caffeine intake, those cyclists who took the real pill reached the goal 3.3 per cent faster than those who took no pill and 2.2 per cent faster than those who received the placebo. Those athletes who were used to drinking coffee and caffeinated energy drinks regularly got the same boost as those who abstain.

“No matter the habitual caffeine intake in the diet, acute caffeine supplementation can improve performance,” said study lead, Professor Bruno Gualano.

Since consuming 400mg of caffeine about an hour before exercising apparently makes it easier for the muscles to burn fat, what should consider drinking before your next workout?

Here are some caffeine counts in popular beverages from the folks at Caffeine Informer:

  • A Starbucks Grande Coffee has 330mg of caffeine
  • A 10 Hour Energy Shot has 422mg of caffeine
  • Tim Horton’s large brewed coffee has 200mg of caffeine
  • McDonalds (McCafe) Mocha has 167mg of caffeine
  • Redbull has 80mg of caffeine
  • Diet Coke has 45mg if caffeine
  • Black tea has 42mg of caffeine
  • Green tea has 25mg (So you would need 16 cups to get to the 400mg boost.)

See also: How much exercise you need to do to burn off the calories in popular junk foods
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