For many morning exercisers, a cup of coffee is part of the pre-workout routine. It can help a person gather the energy to jump on the treadmill for a run instead of running back to bed. But according to a new study, coffee can also help lessen some of the pain of working out.
Subjects were divided into 2 groups: those who regularly consumed caffeine (equal to 3-4 cups of coffee per day) and those who rarely consumed caffeine. Both groups were put through the same workouts on a stationary bike. They were asked to describe their quadriceps muscle pain during the activity, and the results were surprising. Those who had consumed caffeine (in the form of a pill) before the workout reported less pain than those who did not. Interestingly, the 2 groups- regular caffeine users and those who don't- had similar results. Therefore, tolerance to caffeine played no role in the way it diminished pain during exercise.
So what do these results mean? At this point, it's hard to know whether or not caffeine will help improve performance. But for those people who are easily discouraged when they feel pain at the gym, caffeine might reduce that discomfort. Drinking a cup of coffee before working out could end up making someone more willing to stick with a regular exercise routine.
Do you drink coffee before a workout? Do you notice a difference in how it makes you feel? How so?
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