Fire up the coffee maker, ladies and gents! It’s time to break a sweat! According to The Cut, a new study conducted by Professor Bruno Gualano at the University of São Paulo gives evidence that drinking coffee makes us better at working out.
Prof. Gualano is an avid bicyclist as well as an avid coffee-drinker. He wanted to know if drinking coffee can boost exercise performance. To do this, Gualano gathered a group of competitive male cyclists and divided them into three groups based on their normal daily caffeine intake.
The first group’s caffeine intake was low (less than one cup of coffee per day). The second group’s intake was moderate (about two cups per day). And the third group’s intake was high (three or more cups).
Gualano set up time trials in which the groups cycled as hard as they could until they burned 450 calories. He tested the cyclists ability to burn their 450 calories after they had taken a 400-milligram caffeine pill (equal to about four cups of coffee), then after taking a placebo pill, and finally with no pill at all.
What Prof. Gualano found was that the majority of cyclists performed better after having taken the caffeine pill (an average of 3.3% faster, to be exact). Taking the placebos helped the cyclists as well, but not as much as the actual caffeine.
What’s even more interesting is that the cyclists’ habitual daily coffee drinking had no effect on the study. The caffeine pill boosted everyone’s performance no matter their normal daily intake.
This means that squeezing in a cup of coffee before you hit the gym may enhance your workout. Prof. Gualano notes that drinking excess caffeine can have serious side effects no matter what, so consume in moderation. To test this theory out for yourself, start with a small amount of caffeine pre-gym and build up over time to let your body adjust.
And always remember to bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy!