Studies show that a little caffeine can give your workout a boost. Here’s how it works.
1. Improves your speed
Could caffeine switch up that podium placement? Maybe. In a 2017 analysis of several studies, scientists found that caffeine significantly improves speed in workouts that last 45 seconds to 8 minutes.
You don’t have to be an Olympian to reap the benefits, though. If you’re looking to beat your own PR, caffeine just might help.
While caffeine supplements aren’t exactly the same thing as drinking coffee, they do have similar effects on your bod.
So, if you want to whip through your strength training exercises faster than usual, you may want to add a little latte to your routine.
2. Boosts your strength
You might want to sip some espresso before you lift weights or shoot some hoops.
A 2018 review suggests that consuming caffeine can support your max muscle strength and upper body and muscle power. According to researchers, caffeine improved athletes’ vertical jump height and boosted powerlifters’ performance.
Since most of these studies were conducted on men, though, the authors noted that more research may be needed to understand how caffeine affects female athletes.
3. Reduces anaerobic exhaustion
In the study, researchers found major improvements in participants who took a certain cycling test with caffeine when compared to peeps who had a placebo.
4. Increases aerobic power
5. Reduces muscle pain
Bonus: Peeps who had caffeine before their workout also completed more reps of bicep curls per set.
Before you start downing Caffe Americanos before CrossFit, though, keep in mind that only nine men were observed in this study. More research is needed before you can draw any sweeping conclusions.
Pre-workout and coffee
While caffeine has shown some benefits for boosting your workout, you don’t want to overdo it. Pre-workout supplements tend to have around 91 to 387 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per serving. The typical cup of coffee has about 100 mg per serving.
That means that between coffee and pre-workout, the caffeine content can add up quickly. The FDA says 400 mg or less of caffeine isn’t linked to side effects, but how you’ll react depends on your sensitivity.
Your genetics can play a role in how you’ll respond to having caffeine before you exercise. What might work well for some folks might not work for you and that’s okay.
If you’re an early bird
Sipping some java about an hour before you work out in the morning is a great way to start your day.
If you’re not a morning person, an afternoon sweat sesh works well, too. Just try not to drink too much coffee per day if you want to avoid potential negative side effects like anxiety, bladder irritation, and headaches.
If you’re a night owl
It’s probably best to skip the caffeine if you love to work out in the evening. Having caffeine 6 hours or less before you go to bed can disrupt your sleep.
The workout boost prob isn’t worth sabotaging your precious Zzz’s. Getting enough rest is important for your overall health and for building those muscles you worked so hard on.