Why You Might Want To Start Drinking Coffee Before Working Out

Earlier this week, researchers from the University of Granada released results that show a connection between drinking caffeine and increased fat-burning due to aerobic exercise. "The results of our study showed that acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before performing an aerobic exercise test increased maximum fat oxidation during exercise regardless of the time of day," Francisco J. Amaro, one of the researchers, explained in a press announcement. The University of New Mexico describes fat oxidation — the scientific term for fat burning — as when electrons are converted from fat molecules into energy.

In the study, 15 men with an average age of 32, completed four exercise regimes over the course of the week, each time being administered a small dose of coffee or a placebo in a random pattern. The results indicated that ingesting the equivalent of a strong coffee half an hour before an aerobic exercise session, significantly increased the rate of the oxidation. Moreover, they found a higher rate in the afternoon than in the morning, though, if caffeine was taken in the morning the rate would equal roughly that of the decaffeinated exercise in the afternoon. The conclusion was that exercise in the afternoon after a cup of coffee is the most optimal strategy for oxidizing one's fat.

In moderation, coffee overflows with benefits

The paper authored by the researchers at the University of Granada, adds yet another piece to understanding how coffee can assist exercise. Coffee has already been shown to enhance performance, aid in a faster recovery time, and, as one might imagine, gives us greater awareness, per Stylist. However, as experts have previously cautioned to Mashed, we should not take these findings as a prompt to guzzle coffee straight from the decanter. 

"Too much coffee can cause high blood pressure and cause side effects like dizziness, shakiness, headache, abnormal heartbeat, or insomnia," said Kristen Carli, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. "Drinking more than 400 milligrams of caffeine, or three to five eight-ounce cups of coffee, is not recommended." Health also notes that another rule for incorporating coffee into your routine is to include it with healthy, nutrient rich foods. In other words, frappuccinos are not the super drinks under discussion. With such moderation in mind, though, coffee has been repeatedly proven to bring more positives than negatives to a healthy lifestyle.