Oh, how I love you, coffee. Let me count the ways. 1) You help me get out of bed in the morning. 2) You make me a kinder person. 3) You help me work harder and think more clearly and ... um ... function as a human being. Now, it turns out there's even more reason to love that delicious cup o' joe: It can help us get fitter. Yep, recent studies have found that caffeine may give your workout a beneficial jolt, too.
Here are a few reasons it might be a good idea to scarf down a latte or a frothy cappuccino (or both!) before heading out on your next workout:
1. Caffeine can help you work out longer and harder: According to researchers in one British study, young men who drank a sugar-free beverage with caffeine an hour before working out were able to work out for a longer period of time and do more reps without getting exhausted than they did when they drank the same beverage without the caffeine.
2. Caffeine can improve your accuracy: Another recent study found that soccer players were able to dribble, head, and kick the ball with greater precision and agility after drinking caffeine. Caffeine not only made them more alert, it also improved their fine motor skills.
3. Caffeine can help you go faster: Sprinters, marathon runners, cyclists, rowers, swimmers, and tennis players can all get a speed boost from caffeine. And because it's perfectly legal for competitive athletes to use, caffeine is, according to The New York Times, "the most popular drug in sports" today.
4. Caffeine can help you feel less tired: The subjects in that British study reported feeling less tired after workouts before which they had drunk caffeine, even if they had worked out for longer.
5. Caffeine can make you feel better about your workout: Those same British study subjects were also more excited about working out again after workouts before which they had consumed caffeine.
6. Caffeine can be delicious: Latte, cappuccino, espresso ... mmmm!
Do you think you'll start drinking caffeine to give your workouts a boost?