With spring finally here and the hot summer months fast approaching there are lots and lots of people trying to get in shape so they can show off their beach bods (and, hopefully, vaccination stickers). We all know that eating a healthy diet, watching our calories, and getting physical activity is the recipe for losing fat, but plenty of people would love a bit of a boost when it comes to ditching body weight and building tone. Science may have just found, and it’s ridiculously simple.
In a new study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers explain that adding caffeine to your exercise routine can actually increase the rate at which fat is burned. Even better, the scientists were able to help pinpoint the timeframe within which you should ingest caffeine in order to boost your workout gains (and fat loss).
Caffeine is an extremely popular stimulant and it’s officially the most popular psychoactive substance on the planet. Its stimulating effects have made it a go-to for athletes that want to boost their performance, if only on a temporary basis, but the researchers behind this latest study wanted to know how caffeine consumption affects fat burning. To figure this out, they recruited 15 men and put them on a strict regimen where they consumed either caffeine or a placebo prior to exercise tests.
The results pointed to a clear link between caffeine consumption and enhanced fat oxidation during exercise. The association was present regardless of what time of the day the subjects exercised, suggesting that it’s an easy way to boost fat loss during workouts no matter when you decide to hit the gym or tackle the trail. Caffeine intake should precede the workout by approximately 30 minutes, the study shows.
The individuals in the study consumed roughly 3mg per kg of body weight. If consumed in the afternoon before a workout, the enhanced fat-burning effects were more pronounced, but they were present at all times of the day. It’s unclear if regular caffeine consumption can lead to a tolerance that may cause the fat-burning boost to change over time.
There are, of course, risks associated with caffeine use, whether you’re using it during exercise or not. Individuals with heart conditions or other medical ailments that affect blood pressure, the function of the heart, etc. The research found a clear link between fat burning and caffeine intake, but if you have preexisting medical conditions it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine, and that goes double if you’re planning on using a stimulant to enhance your fat loss during the workout. Don’t risk your life for the sake of losing a few extra pounds.