It’s a brand new year with the same old resolution: Be a better you, work out more, and maybe lose a few pounds.
If you are anything like me, I’m always trying to find ways to improve my workouts without having to work out longer.
Experts say that consuming caffeine an hour before a workout can promote endurance. Here’s a breakdown of caffeine options:
How much it takes: About 3 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. That means a 150-pound person would want 210 to 400 mg. A 20-ounce Starbucks coffee contains about 200 mg; iced tea has about 40 mg; diet soda about 50 mg.
How it works: After you have consumed your caffeine, it takes one to two hours for the body to absorb it into the blood stream. When you exercise, the body uses stored energy from food, which helps you perform during the workout. At the end of a long workout, you may feel sluggish, but caffeine helps slow the depletion of the energy source by encouraging the body to use more fat as fuel, instead of the readily available sugars.
Ingesting caffeine before you partake in activities lasting longer than an hour with sustained effort such as running, cycling or cross country skiing, can benefit you by allowing an increase in endurance, accuracy and speed. However, caffeine provides no tangible benefits for strength or power activities such as lifting heavy weights.
There are many caffeine-based products out there targeted for the fitness guru. Make sure to do your research in what the product is and always consult with your doctor before you start taking any new supplements to ensure they are safe and will not react with any other medications you are taking.
Remember, staying hydrated in whatever activity you partake in will keep your body at its maximum potential.
Alyssa Stern is a mother and a certified group exercise instructor Visit her blog at alyssajeanstern.blogspot.com/.