Apparently, coffee is great for getting that little extra juice (and results) out of your exercise routine.

Say goodbye to water and Gatorade, and say high to coffee, tea and pop as the new fashion at the gym.

Why? Here is the premise of the study:

1. Caffeine helps people work out longer

2. Caffeine leads to greater fat loss

3. Caffeine does NOT promote dehydration during workouts


…an amount considered acceptable by most health experts — only a cup or two a day — is needed to get better results at the gym.

They have shown that there are substances in caffeine which trigger the release of body fats into the bloodstream during activity. This means fat is burnt during exercise, rather than carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscle as glycogen but the amount that can be stored is limited. If you burn body fat first, it reserves carbohydrate for later use. The upshot? You have more energy and can exercise for longer.

Although most research into caffeine’s fitness benefits has been carried out on elite athletes for whom its boost could mean the difference between winning and losing, its effects are equally helpful to anyone looking to get more out of their gym session. Jane Griffin, a sports dietitian and author of Food For Sport (Crowood Press), believes that caffeine’s ability to help the body to “use fat efficiently” means that “when taken in conjunction with regular aerobic exercise, in theory it could help you to lose weight more quickly”.

Caffeine can also prevent workout fatigue. Feeling wired after a coffee is the result of caffeine’s stimulant effects. It works by increasing neurone activity in the brain, which then triggers the pituitary gland into secreting more adrenalin. The result? A perceived injection of energy that leaves you thinking that you aren’t suffering as much on the treadmill as you thought. A study at the University of South Carolina, published in the American Journal of Physiology (2003), revealed that one or two cups of coffee up to an hour before a gym session can delay or prevent post-exercise tiredness by up to 60 per cent: “People seem to be able to work harder without realising it when they take caffeine before a workout,” says Louise Sutton, the principal lecturer in sport and exercise nutrition at Leeds Metropolitan University…

For each of the trials, the cyclists took one of three different drinks — glucose, glucose mixed with caffeine, and plain water. Results showed that caffeine increased the amount of carbohydrates absorbed from the drink by 26 per cent.

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