Everyone who has ever had a cup or two of coffee in the morning can attest to caffeine’s ability to boost energy. What you may not know is that caffeine provides a host of other benefits, proved by research. These include helping to reduce body fat, improving strength and endurance in the gym, and enhancing mental focus. An epidemiological study from Portugal even reported that subjects who consume caffeine daily have less risk of cognitive decline with aging.
In addition to supplying energy, caffeine helps reduce body fat by boosting the body’s metabolic rate — the amount of calories burned per day without factoring in activity — and increasing the amount of fat that gets released from fat cells. Research demonstrates that athletes also can lift more weight or lift the same weight for more reps when they supplement with caffeine. One study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported that trained subjects taking caffeine one hour before workouts were able to bench-press 5 pounds more than they could when taking a placebo.
While you can continue to drink your coffee, studies show that the best results from caffeine are achieved by supplementing with 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine anhydrous one to two hours before hitting the gym.