A study commissioned by the British Coffee Association found that caffeine not only makes us feel more alert, it also reduces fatigue – making intensive workouts that little bit easier.
The research shows that three to four milligrams of the nation’s favourite beverage per kilogram of a person’s body weight an hour before exercise will increase performance by as much as 30 per cent.
A link between increased sporting performance and caffeine is nothing new, with many professional athletes consuming the stimulant in the hours leading up to an important event. Studies show that caffeine reduces messages sent to the brain that include fatigue as well as increase energy and oxidation of fat.
The British Coffee Association’s research was assisted by Mike Gleeson, an exercise biochemistry professor at Loughborough University. He said the results show that black instant coffee can produce similar performance enhancements as pure caffeine if consumed around one hour before a person exercises.
When working out, it is important to keep well hydrated, but this research suggests that gym enthusiasts do not necessarily have to consume higher amounts of water after drinking coffee.
Contrary to some people’s beliefs, coffee provides similar hydrating effects as water and drinking any quantity will not lead to dehydration.
The findings add to previous studies which found that drinking four to five cups of coffee each day can contribute to a balanced diet as well as a reduction in the risk of brain cancer by up to 40 per cent. Last month, a study conducted in Brazil also found that drinking black coffee without any sweeteners can help to strengthen and whiten teeth (and you can read more on this story).
It is estimated that more than 70 million cups of coffee are drank in the UK each day and the British Coffee Association believes that number could increase due to more people taking up exercise following the success of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and this summer’s football World Cup and Commonwealth Games. So encourage your employer to get an office coffee machine to make everyone better off!