Boost your workout this summer with a cup of coffee and benefit your health at the same time!

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Boost your workout this summer with a cup of coffee and benefit your health at the same time!

With London Marathon fast approaching this month, Ride London in August, and the Rugby World Cup in September, budding athletes can take pleasure in the knowledge that drinking a cup of coffee before exercise may help to boost performance!

Research has shown that drinking a cup of coffee an hour before exercise can help us to exercise harder and for 30% longer.1,2,3 Caffeine, which occurs naturally in coffee, improves alertness and the ability to sustain motor skills to make exercise feel easier, positively impacting our persistence, vigour and output levels.1,2,3

Consuming the equivalent of 3-4mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight one hour prior to exercise improves endurance and performance4 in cycling,2,5,6 high intensity running,7 repeated sprinting8 and sports such as football9,10 and rugby.11,12

Professor Mike Gleeson, Professor of Exercise Biochemistry, Loughborough University comments; “Studies show that if you consume an appropriate amount of caffeine for your bodyweight at the right time, it can enhance your physical performance. Research shows that black instant coffee consumed one hour prior to exercise can improve endurance performance in a similar way to pure caffeine (of equivalent amounts), which suggests coffee may be a very effective way to consume caffeine before exercise and to enhance performance.”

The health benefits of coffee don’t stop there! Moderate coffee consumption (4-5 cups per day, 400mg of caffeine) can help to improve hydration levels13 and heart health14,15 and has been shown to decrease the risk of certain cancers,16 neurodegenerative diseases,17,18 and type 2 diabetes.

So in the run up to London Coffee Festival (30 April-3 May) and UK Coffee Week (4-10 May) this year, you can sit back and enjoy your daily cup of coffee that little bit more!

Background information:

Over 70 million cups of coffee that are consumed daily in the UK.19 Coffee is one of the most heavily researched products in the world today and the overwhelming weight of scientific information suggests that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups per day (400mg of caffeine) can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet and may confer some health benefits.20-22 For pregnant women the NHS recommends consuming no more than 200mg of caffeine per day from all sources (an average mug of instant coffee contains approximately 100mg of caffeine).23


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Meeusen, R. et al (2013). Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series, 76: 1-12
EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011). EFSA Journal 2011;9(4):2053 [24 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2053
Hodgson, A.B. et al (2013). PLoS One, 8(4): e59561
McNaughton, L.R. et al (2008). International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 3(2): 157-163
Glaister, M. et al (2008). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(10): 1835-1840
Mohr, M. et al (2011). Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(5): 1372-1379
Foskett A, Ali A, Gant N. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009 Aug;19(4):410-23.
Del Coso J, Muñoz-Fernández VE, Muñoz G, Fernández-Elías VE, Ortega JF, Hamouti N, Barbero JC, Muñoz-Guerra J. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31380. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031380
Del Coso J, Ramírez JA, Muñoz G, Portillo J, Gonzalez-Millán C, Muñoz V, Barbero-Álvarez JC, Muñoz-Guerra J.Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Apr;38(4):368-74. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2012-0339.
Stuart GR, Hopkins WG, Cook C, Cairns SP. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Nov;37(11):1998-2005.
Killer, S.C. et al. (2014) PLOS ONE
Wu J. et al. Coffee consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies. Int J Cardiol, 2009; 137: 216-225
De Koning Gans J.M. et al. Tea and coffee consumption and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol., 2010; 30:1665-1671
WCRF (2014). Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer Accessed March 2015
Costa J et al. (2010) J Alzheimers Dis;20 Suppl 1:S221-38
Gelber RP et al. (2011) J Alzheimers Dis;23:607-15
Mintel Coffee UK (2008). Report
Food Standards Agency (2004). ‘Survey of Caffeine Levels in Hot Beverages’ (Accessed April 2015)
Ruxton, C.H.S. (2008). British Nutrition Foundation, 33
Dorea, J.G. et al (2005). British Journal of Nutrition, 93
NHS Choices (2014). ‘Foods to avoid in pregnancy’ (Accessed April 2015)

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