Forget your pre-workouts and fat burners with the weird lists of ingredients that you’ve never heard of before. Research has shown that just plain black coffee (without the cream and sugar, of course) is the best pre-workout energy source you can find when it comes to power, endurance, and fat burning. Coffee contains about 90mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. That’s 2.4 cups for a 160lb individual. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it improves blood flow which increases your heart rate, and it gives you extra stamina while eliminating fatigue. If you’re curious about Green Tea as an option, the plain old green tea steeped in a cup of hot water is only 25mg of caffeine per 8oz cup. A 160 lb person would need 8 cups of green tea to get the benefits described in this blog. Green tea pills according to caffeineinformer.com don’t have much more than 35mg of caffeine per pill making it hard to swallow up to 6 pills just to get a dose appropriate for a 160 lb person (See how much coffee should you drink, in the last paragraph for formula). Besides you may get a whole lot more than you bargained for in taking a fat burner, buyer beware!
When you drink a cup of Joe before your workout, it can cause your body to burn fat as an energy source instead of glycogen. Your body has limited stores of glycogen, so once it’s all used up, fatigue sets in. By burning fat as fuel instead, your endurance goes up making you able to work out for longer periods of time. It has also been found to increase pain-reducing endorphins in marathon runners. Sparing the amount of glycogen used and less pain can help increase your overall run time.
Along with burning fat for fuel, coffee boosts your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories throughout the day and it even suppresses your appetite, causing you to eat less calories overall. More caloric expenditure along with less caloric intake can result in fat loss.
Studies have shown that caffeine can cause your power output to increase, making you stronger, according to Sports Medicine. It has also been shown to decrease lactic acid production. This is due to the reduced use of glycogen. When your glycogen stores are used up, lactic acid forms causing that burning feeling while working out.
On top of making you work out harder and stronger, caffeine can also improve your mental focus in the gym, making you more productive with your workouts.
How much coffee should you drink?
If coffee has so many great benefits, the more you drink the better, right? Wrong. If you drink too much caffeine, your body will become immune to the effects. You should only be drinking about 2-3mg of caffeine per kilogram that you weigh (take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.454 to get your weight in kilograms). For maximum results, it is best to drink it about an hour before your workout. Also if you’ve been relying on caffeine for that boost for quite some time but have a big event coming up. It’s best to decrease your consumption for a week leading up to the event so that on the day of the competition you reap the full benefits. Tolerance can be a big factor so cutting it out for a week helps bring back the edge you once had when you first started consuming caffeine.