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Can Caffeine Boost My Workout? Here's what I found out.....

 

In the United States and around the world, many people start their day with a cup of coffee or tea. Some even rely on these drinks to keep going all day long. We know there are pluses and minuses to caffeine consumption. One apparent plus would be the healthful benefits that come from caffeine acting as a powerful antioxidant.
 

But here’s an interesting question – can a cup of coffee or glass of iced tea actually give your exercise workout a boost?
 

The American College of Sports Medicine cites research suggesting that caffeine consumption prior to exercising may enhance performance. This seems to apply to both prolonged endurance exercise and short-term intense exercise. Adrenaline release is increased, which stimulates the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue. This spare fat is used up early during the exercise session, before muscle carbohydrate that would otherwise be used, allowing for a longer workout and postponed fatigue.
 

Most experts agree that what you’ll find in approximately three cups of coffee is considered a moderate amount of caffeine intake for the day. Everybody has different tolerance levels, though. Before you decide to have a cup of coffee or tea prior to your workout, figure out how much is right for you. To start with, try a few sips and see what happens.
 

Caffeine is a stimulant commonly used to promote mental awareness, but side effects may include a marked increase in heart rate, anxiety, dizziness, nausea and irritability. Pay attention to your body when drinking caffeine prior to a workout. If any negative side effect appears, lower your dosage or eliminate the caffeine altogether. Use your judgment. When used in moderation, and assuming there are no underlying health issues, caffeine may safely boost your workout.
 

References:
American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/caffeineandexercise.pdf 
American Chemical Societyhttp://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2011/acs-presspac-may-4-2011/new-evidence-that-caffeine-is-a-healthful-antioxidant-in-coffee.html

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