Whether it’s a cup of coffee, matcha, or tea, caffeine is usually the first thing on everyone’s minds when we wake up in the morning. If you’re like me, it’s a surefire way to give us energy and motivation to make the most out of the day. However, it may have other benefits other than just helping us wake up and getting our day started. So, does caffeine help us workout? We’re here to figure it out.
Perhaps the most obvious way caffeine can help us with a workout is that it gives us energy overall. For those who like exercising in the morning, it’s not uncommon to drink a cup of coffee before heading to the gym. Drinking caffeine helps get our energy levels up which can motivate us to get a good workout out of the way. Turns out, there’s actually scientific proof that our performance at the gym can be affected by whether we drank caffeine before. Who would have thought that our morning cup of joe could reap such great benefits?
In a study published by Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it was found that caffeine contains a good amount of ergogenic acid, which is also known as a performance enhancer. Researchers found that the natural performance enhancing properties in caffeine benefitted in both muscle training as well as cardio (1). Not only does it help with endurance and strength, but a large reason why it can help during a workout is that it helps you be more alert and focused on the task at hand. This can help push you to meet and achieve new fitness goals as a result.
While caffeine may help your performance at the gym, it’s still important to know that there can be downsides. If you’ve had a cup of coffee, it’s recommended that you wait at least an hour to let the caffeine settle in your stomach before working out. Also, make sure not to overload on caffeine. Consuming a lot of caffeine and immediately hitting the gym can sometimes cause digestive issues such as your stomach being upset. To avoid this, make sure you’re not drinking too much caffeine before the gym, and allow yourself plenty of time to have it digested. Plus, caffeinated drinks such as coffee or hot tea are not as hydrating as one may think. So, if you’re simply drinking loads of coffee and not enough water this may lead to you dehydrating yourself during a workout.
It’s also worth noting that everyone reacts to caffeine differently. While it may be a sacred morning ritual to some, other people may experience side-effects such as jitters or anxiousness. So while caffeine is a natural performance enhancer, it’s not a must-have in order to get a good workout in and you should listen to your body and see what’s best for you personally. The most important beverage overall, and especially before and during a workout, is water. Stay hydrated folks!