Athletes can swim, bike and run faster if they have caffeine before an event or race — and there is no need to abstain from coffee or Red Bull for days beforehand, like it was previously thought. Find out how to get an improved workout in YOUR daily life below.
Caffeine taken in the form of coffee or supplements approximately an hour before a workout can improve your performance, meaning faster race times, and more calories burned, according to a new scientific study that was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, and brought to light in The New York Times. In the past, coaches have told athletes to abstain from coffee or energy drinks for days before a big event, so that just before the event, they could get a performance boost from caffeine. But this new study says that even if you already drink coffee every single day, a burst of caffeine before a workout will give you an edge.
University of São Paulo professor Dr. Bruno Gualano, who studies and teaches physiology and nutrition, says: “No matter the habitual caffeine intake in the diet, acute caffeine supplementation can improve performance.” The NYT says caffeine also helps your muscles burn body fat, and who wouldn’t want that benefit? It makes you more alert, which inherently makes exercise feel easier, even when it’s a challenging workout. We already know coffee gives us energy when we are at our desk, so it makes sense that it would help us workout! In the study, 40 competitive male cyclists from São Paulo pedaled harder and faster when given a caffeine pill versus a placebo or no pill.
More research needs to be done with less-fit participants and women. But for now, we love this news! Too much caffeine can have side effects, like jitters, headaches, and stomach issues, so start slowly. The Doctor says just one cup of coffee about an hour before you workout is enough to give you that mental and physical boost, and improve your time, speed, and overall performance.
HollywoodLifers, do you drink coffee before working out?