Everyone knows that coffee can help you get moving and help you keep going throughout the day. Over the years, studies have shown that coffee may offer significant health benefits. While too much caffeine can impact your blood sugar, drinking it in moderation can be a pleasant part of your day.
A recent study we wrote about found that you should drink your coffee after breakfast to help maintain normal blood sugar. Now, a new study has found that you should drink your coffee 30 minutes before exercising to maximize the results of your effort. While they saw the biggest impact in the afternoon, if you’re someone who restricts caffeine to the pre-noon hours, this find might map out your morning routine: breakfast, coffee, exercise! The FDA recommends that healthy adults drink no more than four or five cups of coffee a day, equaling a total of no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine.
Older studies had seen that drinking caffeine improved people’s ability to exercise. But this showed that people actually burned more fat. Researchers had healthy, active men who weren’t heavy caffeine drinkers exercise doing different activities during different times of the day after having different amounts of caffeine. They found that the men burned the most fat doing aerobic exercise in the afternoon 30 minutes after drinking the amount of caffeine in a cup of strong coffee.
There were some limitations in the research. The group was small. Only 15 people were in the study. They were all men. They were all fit and all around the same age. But, even with all that noted, it is interesting to note that these findings go against so much of the advice for how to burn the most fat while exercising.
“The recommendation to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning to increase fat oxidation is commonplace,” said the lead author of this research, Francisco José Amaro-Gahete. “However, this recommendation may be lacking a scientific basis, as it is unknown whether this increase is due to exercising in the morning or due to going without food for a longer period of time.”
This new study shows that more research is needed, and that the old advice is outdated. For this group, the results were clear that the old recommendation was incorrect. The researcher found that caffeine did improve the impact of their morning exercise as well, but not to the same extent. Both were better than following the old suggestion.
While waiting for more research, if you are a coffee drinker, you might be interested in shifting around your routine a little and seeing if this benefits you. You shouldn’t make any significant changes to your routine without speaking to your doctor, but changing when you drink your coffee in relation to exercise might be a change you like!