Researchers in Spain have said that drinking coffee 30 minutes before a workout could significantly improve the amount of fat your body burns as you exercise. The findings of their study were published in the ‘Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.’ The researchers at the University of Granada, Spain, found that 3mg/kg of caffeine – roughly the equivalent of an eyeballshaking espresso increases the oxidation or ‘burning’ of fat during exercise. Through their study, the researchers aimed to determine whether caffeine, a widely consumed ergogenic substance to improve sports performance, actually increases oxidation or “burning” of fat during exercise.
According to the results of the small study involving 15 men, the effects were stronger in the afternoon than they were in the morning. Lead author, Francisco Jose Amaro-Gahete said: “The recommendation to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning to increase fat oxidation is commonplace.
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.” In his study, participants completed an exercise test once a week for four weeks.
After standardising other factors like time elapsed since their last meal or physical exercise, they ingested 3 mg/kg of caffeine or a placebo at 8am and 5pm before hopping on an exercise bike and completing a workout. Fat oxidation was then measured accordingly.