Caffeine, as we explained in our article “4 benefits of caffeine in sports,” is a substance that can really help improve athletic performance and wake up your nervous system.
But can a cup of coffee before your cardio workout actually help burn fat? Yes, it can. Here’s how it works.
During the last phase of sleep, before you wake up, you generate human growth hormone, which facilitates the circulation of free fatty acids from your fat stores, making them more likely to be used as fuel as opposed to carbohydrates (glycogen) or lean muscle.
When you ingest caffeine, your body releases an enzyme called lipase, which prioritizes the metabolization of free fatty acids from your fat stores over carbohydrates (glycogen) for fuel.
These two things together encourage your body to burn fat for energy instead of glycogen or lean muscle. It’s why downing a cup of morning coffee before a low-intensity cardio workout can help enhance your workout and accelerate fat loss over time.
Also, when you do cardio work in the morning on an empty stomach, it makes your body more insulin sensitive. Insulin resistance is linked to increased body fat.
1. High-intensity cardio workouts can be dangerous on an empty stomach, even without caffeine. If your morning workout consists of anaerobic exercise, you won’t be using fatty acids as fuel and will rapidly deplete your glycogen reserves. You’ll be burning calories, but a better time for that is later in the day.
2. If your cardio workout on an empty stomach is too long, you run the risk of damaging muscle tissue through the action of catabolic hormones in your body.
3. Caffeine is a diuretic, so be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your workout to compensate for any water loss caused by caffeine and prevent dehydration.
With regard to how much coffee you should drink, we recommend that you drink around two cups (approximately 200 mg of caffeine), straight without any sugar or cream.
Many athletes use this method to lose weight rapidly and compete in lower categories, as well as beginning weight lifters in the definition phase. They also normally take anticatabolic sports supplements like glutamine or BCAAs (more information on these substances can be found in other articles on our blog).
We recommend that you limit your pre-breakfast cardio sessions to no more than 3 times a week initially, until your body gets used to it.
As you can see, there are lots of different ways to exercise and lose weight. The method we’ve discussed today is just one of them.
With the Sportize.me method, we help you achieve your goals.
Register now for free by clicking here, if you haven’t done so already, and take advantage of your very own customized exercise plan to:
“Define my body”
“Lose weight,” and much more.
Enjoy exercise! Lengthen your life!