You may have noticed that your workouts feel better and have a more significant impact if you have had a coffee before hitting the gym. That is because caffeine does more than perk you up in the morning. It has several important effects on your mind and body, many of which benefit physical exercise and fitness.
Some of the ways that caffeine affects your body are:
- Muscle: studies have shown that caffeine intake may have an effect on the motor cortex, a part of the brain which indicates muscle stimulation
- Hormones: caffeine has been shown to activate epinephrine; a hormone otherwise known as adrenaline
- Body temperature: caffeine has been shown to increase the body’s heat production which assists in burning calories
- Fat: studies have shown that caffeine intake assists in fat burning, otherwise known as lipolysis
- Nervous system: ingesting caffeine reduces tiredness and increases the brain’s ability to focus
Caffeine intake before your workout
Ingesting caffeine before your workout can maximise the benefits of caffeine for your workout and give you a significant physical and mental boost. When deciding to have caffeine before your workout there are many factors to take into consideration.
One important thing to consider is the type of exercise you will be doing. If you are going to be doing cardio during your workout, you will want to limit your caffeine intake to between 250mg to 400mg. Also, you should try to ingest this caffeine before the workout – ideally 45 to 60 minutes before the workout. The caffeine limits and the time you will want to wait will vary according to your body size and to how high your caffeine tolerance is. This level of caffeine intake will give you the ability to stretch yourself performance-wise and also boost your focus during cardio.
On the other hand, if you are doing weight training, you can be more flexible with your caffeine intake. Caffeine assists with weight training and strength exercises because it helps you to shake off fatigue and focus on the task at hand. Some studies have also found that caffeine might help to boost your ability when it comes to bench press exercises and may improve leg muscle power significantly.
Staying safe while working out
As always, it is essential to listen to your body. Your body may naturally go through periods wheres its tolerance towards caffeine is both higher and lower. It is vital to pay attention to how you are feeling and not try to exceed your limits. If you are starting to incorporate caffeine into your workouts, go slowly and make sure you are listening to what your body is telling you.
If you want to learn more about wellness, fitness, and how caffeine can impact your lifestyle and fitness goals, check out our other blog posts.