Why Drinking Coffee Before The Gym Is Beneficial For Fat Burning

For most people, the day coffee entered your life is a memorable occasion, one which altered your life forever. Since that day, it’s likely that the brown, liquid broth has become less a hot beverage to enjoy with colleagues in the communal office kitchen and more akin to life blood: without it, getting out of bed is a struggle. We might be functioning, but it’s never optimal, not until at least one cup is consumed. 

But as a new study suggests, it turns out coffee is a lot more beneficial than just a mouthwatering aroma and the kind of caffeinated kick that allows us to start functioning. As researchers from the University of Granada examined in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, coffee drunk just half an hour before a workout could significantly increase the rate of fat burning. 

To conduct the study, researchers examined the effect of caffeine on an aerobic workout and fat oxidisation. Results were then compared between morning and afternoon workouts. They found that fat oxidisation increased by 10.7 per cent in the morning and a staggering 29 per cent in the afternoon after consuming a strong coffee half an hour before a 30-minute workout. 

The reason why was put down to the hypothesis that endurance performance peaks in the afternoon, usually coinciding with the highest core body temperature reached during the day, which in turn increases energy metabolism and improves muscle function. 

The study authors explained, “Overall, these results suggest that a combination of acute caffeine intake and exercise at moderate intensity in the afternoon provides the best scenario for individuals seeking to increase whole-body fat oxidation during aerobic exercise.”

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That said, the sample size for the study was just 15 active men, with an average age of 32 – so whether these results are widely applicable remains to be seen. It also goes without saying that the study results apply to black coffee only – naturally, if you’re adding sugar and milk (or dare we say cream and toppings), the effectiveness will be compromised. Still, it’s good to know that a coffee pick-me up has benefits for the workout too. 

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