Drinking a cup of coffee before exercising could make your workout easier, say U.S. scientists.
They studied the effects of caffeine on two groups of male exercisers: those who usually consumed little caffeine and those with an average intake of four cups a day. Both groups were asked to perform 30-minute workouts on an exercise bike while the amount of pain they felt in their leg muscles was monitored. Painkiller? People who had a cup coffee felt less pain in their legs during an exercise test The scientists, based at the University of Illinois, found that those who had consumed caffeine felt less pain.
It’s thought that caffeine helps stop the pain processing nerves in the brain and spinal cord from working. Robert Motl, a professor in community health who lead the study, said that, in theory, drinking caffeine could also boost your sports performance and encourage weight loss.
‘If you go to the gym to exercise and it hurts, you might stop,’ he says. ‘So if a little caffeine reduces the pain, it might help more people stick with it and achieve their fitness goals.’
How many calories can you burn in ten minutes of walking?
WITH A HEAVY RUCKSACK: 40
POWER WALKING: 47
UP STAIRS: 89