That person you’ve seen before? They walk into the gym carrying a Starbucks coffee cup and then they do a PR deadlift. The one who sips their coffee while running a sprint on the treadmill. They may have been right. A study has shown that a cup of coffee before a workout can increase your performance.

But first, coffee…

“Caffeine acts on the central nervous systems, the heart, as well as the “center” that controls blood pressure.” Heidi Skolnik, M.S., a nutritionist and owner Nutrition Conditioning, Inc., states that caffeine can increase your ability to feel good and decrease pain receptors.

This means that you will enjoy sweating and feel more energetic when you do your workout. Not a bad deal. Here are some ways you can get the most out of your next brew.

If you’re a morning exerciser…

Have you ever tried a cappuccino at 5:00 AM before going to the gym? Skolnik believes timing is crucial to your overall performance. She says that caffeine is rapidly absorbed from the stomach after consumption. However, it reaches its peak stimulatory effects between 30 to 75 minutes. Skolnik recommends drinking a cup of caffeine about an hour before working out.

To be adequately prepared, you will need more fluids than an eight-ounce cup of coffee. If you don’t feel like getting to your exercise immediately, it is important to drink your coffee with water. Skolnik says that coffee counts as fluid, but you will still need some liquid. You can pair your java with 7-12 ounces of water if you have time before your workout.

Skolnik warns that too much caffeine can cause laxative effects. This is not a good situation. Dehydration can also be caused by drinking too much coffee. You can check your hydration by looking at your urine color. The darker your urine is, the more dehydrated.

If you drink your coffee black, it might be worth adding milk to your cup. You’ll get more protein and carbohydrates, no matter if you use soy or real milk. These nutrients can boost blood sugar after a good night’s sleep and can also help you get through difficult tasks (think box jumps), Skolnik says.

If You Work Out at Night…

Bad news for night owls. If you tend to get up earlier in the day or later in the evening, you may miss the benefits of coffee on your workouts. Skolnik says that caffeine stays in your body for up to six hours after you drink it. It affects different people differently. It may be fine to have some caffeine before you go to work at 7 p.m., but your running buddy might find it difficult to fall asleep at 1 a.m. Research suggests that our enzymes are affected by genetic makeup, age, and body weight.

Do not sacrifice sleep to get your caffeine fix, no matter what you do. Skolnik says that shut-eye is essential for recovery, appetite regulation, and many other purposes. If you are unable to fall asleep at the time that you prefer, Skolnik suggests switching to a.m. exercise or skipping the stimulant.

You can change the roast to get a longer-lasting buzz. A dark roast coffee may have less caffeine than one that is light. You will get more beans from lighter roasted beans. more caffeine, per scoop.) Cold-brewed coffee tends also to contain less caffeine. Another option is tea, which can give you a less intense jolt. A cup of black tea contains 14 to 70 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce cup, compared with 95 to 200 mg for the same amount of coffee.

Skolnik says most people only need 250 to 300 mg of caffeine per day to feel its performance-enhancing effect (though it varies based on your body weight and your fitness goals). You can get the most bang for your buck by choosing a smaller amount of caffeine without sacrificing coffee.

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