Here’s How Caffeine Can Boost Your Gym Performance – Even If You Already Drink A Lot Of Coffee

You don’t have to wean off it to see results, here's how you should be using coffee to maximise your gains

Looking for an extra boost before a 5K or a gym session where you’re hoping to set a new personal best? The answer might lie deep within your prized coffee machine, a study from Brazil suggests. Science has known for years that caffeine can help athletic performance – that’s why the pre-workout supplements you see at the vitamin shops often contain a significant amount of it. But it also raised the question of whether people who drink a lot of coffee on the regular would still receive that boost from it.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Drink Coffee Every Day

So scientists tested it out. They broke up a group of trained cyclists into three groups: The low-caffeine group normally drank the equivalent of one cup of coffee or less a day, the moderate-caffeine group about two cups a day, and the high-caffeine group three or more cups a day. Then, they performed cycling rides on three different dates that were intended to last about 30 minutes. An hour before the first, they took a supplement containing about 400 milligrams of caffeine, the New York Times reports. Before the second, they took a placebo pill an hour before their ride. They didn’t take anything before their third ride.

The result? The riders performed significantly better on the ride driven by caffeine—nearly 1.5 minutes faster than when they took no pill at all. Whilst a caffeine pill might seem ideal because it’s small and portable, you won’t get to enjoy a cup of coffee, which is half the point. Try the Aeropress Coffeemaker (R689, Buy It Here) which is durable and portable so you can make your coffee no matter where you are.

Related: Doing This In The Afternoon Will Leave You More Alert Than A Giant Cup Of Coffee

Perhaps most surprising, though, is that there was no change in performance increase based on caffeine groups, meaning that those who were used to drinking the most caffeine still saw a boost from taking it.Caffeine can boost your endurance during exercise, making you able to perform longer before exhaustion kicks in, a separate study on caffeine found. We recommend the Wazoogles Kungfu Coffee Protein Shake (R535, Buy It Here) to workout for longer and get more gains.

Related: Drinking Coffee Might Be Making You Fat

Still, you don’t want to drink too much of it. The maximum recommended daily dose of caffeine is 400 mg a day. That’s about four standard cups of coffee. We’re loving the Bean There African Adventure Bundle (R189, Buy It Here) which comes with 6 bags of coffee beans from 6 different African countries.

Related: Read This If You Drink More Than 4 Cups Of Coffee a Day

Take in too much caffeine and you raise your risk of side effects, like headache, nausea, tremors, hyperventilation, and agitation. But have the right amount and you will start to see the difference. Our advice? Try different coffees to the regular instant coffee you mindlessly pile into a cup, it forces you to take a step back, enjoy the brew and wake up and smell the coffee. We love The Monthly Grind which has a monthly subscription, sending you different premium coffees so you never get bored and always reap the benefits of quality caffeine.

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