Maintaining a regular workout schedule is critical to reaching your weight management and performance goals. However, it’s not always easy to keep the motivation going from day to day. Many individuals find that caffeine can help to provide the necessary energy needed to maintain your exercise schedule during a busy week. Here are just a few of the benefits of caffeine on your energy level.
Better Fat Burning
A cup of coffee contains enough caffeine to create a temporary revving up of your metabolism that helps you to burn fat as you exercise. This fat-burning ability can help you to maintain your optimum weight, as well as assist you in reaching your overall fitness goals.
Decreased Muscle Discomfort
Caffeine also stimulates the brain to release certain neurotransmitter chemicals that reduce muscle discomfort that may occur during exercise. Chemicals such as dopamine and beta-endorphins act as natural pain relievers, so you can work out harder with fewer aches and pains.
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If you have ever dragged yourself out of bed to go to the gym or forced yourself to run after a long day at work, you know the sense of exhaustion that can hamper your performance. A cup of coffee before your workout can help you to sustain a greater effort in your regime, so you can continue to work on your strength and endurance, regardless of your energy reserves. Caffeine helps to “rev up” your body chemistry to keep you going longer and stronger.
Caffeine can also help to clear the fog of fatigue from your brain so you can focus more intensely on your workout requirements. Athletes find they are able to concentrate on the individual elements of their workout regime better, and enjoy better results from their workouts. Of course, too much caffeine can make you dehydrated and jittery, so limit the amount to one cup and follow with a tall glass of water to ensure you are well hydrated for your exercise.
Of course, like all things, make sure you are using caffeine in moderation. Where there are benefits there are also risks. Too much caffeine, even for a workout, can lead to nervousness, insomnia, restlessness, and a fast heartbeat. Use caffeine in your workout sparingly as it is not a proper substitute for a proper diet and proper eating, especially when you’re working out. Know your body, if you are sensitive to caffeine, or have health problems that could be exacerbated by caffeine, please use it sparingly.
While it’s generally a good idea to skip the sugar and artificial sweeteners in your coffee, a bit of milk or soy milk can provide a boost of protein and carbs that can help you perform at your best. The most effective time to drink your coffee before a workout is about one hour before you hit the gym. You will then be ready to tackle your exercise regime with energy and enthusiasm.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis.