Hey Angels and Alphas,
As we know, countless people all around the world start their day off with caffeine, usually in the form of either tea or coffee. Caffeine is generally safe for the people who tolerate it well, but as a stimulating, it may do more than just give you a boost of energy in the morning or help you make it through your afternoon tasks… it might be great for your workouts, too!
Caffeine has been shown to benefit fitness performance in countless ways, whether it’s consumed before endurance training or resistance training.
But aside from performance, there are other effects that caffeine has on the body. Here’s a piece of research that we’re going to look at today done by a team over at the University of Granada. The study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
The research looked at whether caffeine had an effect on fat oxidation (or fat burning) during exercise.
What they did was they enlisted a group of men to complete a series of physical and mental tests both in the morning and the afternoon. Some of the participants were set to receive 3 milligrams of caffeine for each kilogram of body weight they had about 30 minutes before the test started. The others, those who did not receive a caffeine shot, received a placebo.
The study went on for about four weeks, and the data was pretty clear. The participants who received a caffeine shot before exercise burned more fat (during exercise) than the people who were given a placebo shot. This effect occurred regardless of which time of the day it was, however, the effects were slightly more significant during afternoon exercise as opposed to exercise in the early morning.
What the researchers concluded was that the findings of the study suggest that there is a pleasant combination of aerobic exercise and acute caffeine intake. When exercise was performed at a moderate intensity in the afternoon, people had the best chance to increase the amount of fat they burned during their workout.
So how do we apply these findings into our life and reap the benefits of caffeine fat-burning?
Well, even though the research speaks for itself, there might be a few things you can do to maximize the effects of what the research found in your personal life.
The instructions are pretty easy. If you want to achieve the best fat loss (and therefore weight loss) result, you should aim to consume your caffeine shot about 30 minutes before you start your exercise. If you’re one of those people that puts science before anything else and you want to follow the study parameters as strictly as possible, you should know that a 150-pound person would need about 200 milligrams of caffeine if they wish to achieve this effect. This equates to about 2 cups of brewed coffee.
Don’t forget – most nutritional guidelines suggest that you should limit your coffee intake to about 400 milligrams every day. That being said, your individual tolerance could vary vastly from what other people tolerate.
So before you go ahead and start chugging down coffee before each and every one of your workouts, you should know that caffeine can also have some drawbacks when used before or during exercise. And there’s research to back this up, as well.
According to this study done back in 2019, combining high-intensity workouts with a high caffeine intake could increase the risk of potentially developing blood clots.
If you want to stay safe and reap the touted fat-burning benefits of coffee for your workouts, you might want to set a specific amount of caffeine that you’re going to be consuming and consume it on days where your workout intensity is closer to moderate than it is to high.
The bottom line is…
Coffee, and caffeine in general, is safe and tolerable by the vast majority of people out there.
But caffeine has countless effects on the body, one of which is the increased fat oxidation during aerobic exercise which allows you to burn through more of your fat stores and potentially lose more weight if you just take a coffee shot 30 minutes before your workout.
However, to stay safe, you should consider the negative side effects and cardiovascular risk factors that could be a very good reason to take it easy when it comes to caffeine.
If you’re uncertain, try doing a caffeine-shot workout and see how you feel after it. This will give you some of the best indications of whether or not you’re achieving the effects you actually wish to achieve.