There may be differing scientific opinion on how healthy your cup of coffee is, but if you follow it up with some aerobic exercise, it could help you lose weight.
A new study has found that drinking coffee before your exercise regime, especially in the afternoon, can aid your attempts to burn fat.
Scientists from the University of Granada showed that ingesting 3mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight (about the same as a strong cup of coffee) half an hour before exercise significantly increased the rate of fat burning.
They also found that if the exercise is performed in the afternoon, the effects of the caffeine are more marked than in the morning.
In the study, the researchers aimed to determine whether caffeine, which is one of the most commonly consumed substances in the world to improve sports performance, actually does increase the burning of fat during exercise.
The researchers said that while caffeine consumption in the form of supplements was very common, there was limited scientific evidence to back up the beneficial claims, which is why they undertook the investigation.
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Lead author of the study Professor Francisco Amaro-Gahete explained that there were many exercise myths that proliferated without being scientifically tested.
“The recommendation to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning to increase fat oxidation is commonplace,” Prof. Amaro-Gahete explained.
“However, this recommendation may be lacking a scientific basis, as it is unknown whether this increase is due to exercising in the morning or due to going without food for a longer period of time.”
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Participants in the research completed an exercise test four times at seven-day intervals.
The subjects ingested 3mg/kg of caffeine or a placebo at 8am and 5pm with each participant completing the tests in all four conditions in a random order.
The conditions prior to each exercise test (hours elapsed since last meal, physical exercise, or consumption of stimulant substances) were strictly standardised, and the level of fat burning during exercise was calculated accordingly.
“The results of our study showed that acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before performing an aerobic exercise test increased maximum fat oxidation (fat burning) during exercise, regardless of the time of day,” Prof. Amaro-Gahete explained.
The tests also showed higher rates of fat burning in the afternoon, compared to the morning, when there were equal hours of fasting before the exercise took place.
The results showed that caffeine increases fat burning during morning exercise in a similar way to exercise in the afternoon without any caffeine intake.
It also suggested that the combination of caffeine intake and aerobic exercise performed at moderate intensity in the afternoon provided the optimal scenario for people seeking to increase fat-burning during physical exercise?
Do you exercise in the morning of afternoon? Do you drink coffee before exercise? Is this something you would consider to help you lose weight and burn fat?
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