Drinking Coffee Before Exercising Can Make It More Enjoyable

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/02/2015 | 12:30 PM EST

Study says caffeine makes workouts more effective and prevents overeating

You may want to hold off on passing judgment the next time you see someone working out with Starbucks cup in hand. Turns out drinking coffee actually makes exercising more enjoyable, according to new research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

A couple cups of caffeine before your gym routine could see better results as it is deemed more effective.


To conduct the study, researchers used 14 participants to complete two moderate workouts on a stationary bike; one where they had caffeine 90 minutes before their workout and one where they did not. When caffeinated, the participants reported the ride was much easier than it was without the stimulant.

In addition to determining how coffee affects workout enjoyment, the researchers also examined how that caffeine affected eating habits later in the day by treating the subjects to a sandwich buffet and tracking their calories consumed, according to Yahoo Health. When caffeinated pre-workout, subjects ate about 72 calories less than when they had the placebo. In other words: caffeine makes your workout more fun and keeps you from overdoing it at the dinner table later in the day. The same brain chemicals that affect exercise enjoyment may also affect appetite, says the study’s author Matthew Schubert.

“There is some evidence that caffeine can influence ‘happy chemicals’ like dopamine and serotonin,” Schubert said.

But he cautions keeping your coffee black brings more benefits as fancy concoctions like a caramel macchiato may do more harm than good.

“You can easily offset the caloric benefits with a grande Frappuccino or mocha latte,” he added.

(Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis)

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