Coffee and it’s most potent ingredient, caffeine, have a bunch of benefits which mean you should seriously consider drinking a cup before your workouts. I have a cup of black coffee or a pre-workout shake 30 minutes before a workout and here are 5 reasons why you should do the same:

1. Coffee can improve your energy levels

It’s pretty well known that coffee can give you a big pick-up when you’re feeling tired and your energy levels are low. How does it work? Caffeine blocks Adenosine which is a chemical in the brain that makes you feel sleepy. No more Adenosine, no more tiredness! Which is the effect that makes you feel more awake after a strong Americano.

2. It helps you burn fat

Studies have showed that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by up 10%. If you look at the ingredients of any ‘fat burner’ supplements (check out my supplements guide) then the main ingredient is always caffeine. There’s a good reason for that – by boosting your metabolism, a pre-workout coffee will help you to burn more calories during exercise.

3. Caffeine increases physical performance

There is considerable evidence that the caffeine in coffee can deliver a significant increase in power output, helping you to train for longer, lift heavier or run for longer.

4. It can help prevent disease

Coffee has been linked to various health benefits including a lower risk of some types of cancer, type II diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

5. Coffee is full of anti-oxidants

Coffee is also pumped full of tons of antioxidants which are good for your body. In fact, in most western diets, coffee actually contributes more anti-oxidants than fruit and vegetables!

Optimal Nutrition's pre-workout shake

Optimal Nutrition’s pre-workout shake

But isn’t too much coffee bad for me?

As the saying goes, everything in moderation! It’s also worth being aware that you can easily build up a tolerance to the beneficial effects of caffeine and you should always keep under the daily recommended amount to avoid getting into a cycle of becoming dependent on too much coffee drinking. 400mg is the recommended daily amount of caffeine, roughly equivalent to 4 cups a day. But be wary of any extra ‘pre-workout’ shakes or ‘fat burners’ you might be taking. A measure of BSN’s NO XPLODE contains a huge 250mg of caffeine. Optimal Nutrition’s PRE also contains 160mg.

Personally I have 1 cup in the morning and then I have another cup or a pre-workout shake before training. Now get training!