Does Drinking Coffee Before Exercising Burn More Fat? Here’s What Studies Say

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Consuming a cup of coffee before a workout is a ritual for many. And recently, there has been lots of chat around whether this actually helps burn more fat during a workout, thanks to a study from the University of Granada in Spain.

The study in question looked at 15 men around the age of 32 who ingested either caffeine powder (roughly 3mg per kilogram of their body mass) or a placebo 30 minutes before exercising. According to The Conversation, the participants went on to complete a total of four trials.

Participants alternated between exercising at either 8am or 5pm on separate days, while also using a “triple-blind” experimental design — this means that no one in the study (not the participants, researchers or statistician) knew who consumed caffeine during the study.

To make sure all of the participants were exposed to the same conditions, they all consumed the caffeine or placebo at least three hours after their last meal, while also consuming the same diet during each trial, which involved high-intensity cycling.

When comparing the caffeine group to the placebo group, researchers found that consuming caffeine led to more fat being burned during exercise. According to The Conversation, fat burning was up to 11 percent more in the morning and 29 percent more in the afternoon for the group who consumed caffiene.

But, it isn’t exactly the golden bullet you might think it is. “Even with the higher afternoon rate of 0.4 grams of fat burned per minute, in order to lose 1kg of body fat, one would have to exercise for nearly 42 hours,” The Conversation said.

While this research is undoubtedly interesting, it highlights the need to approach exercise as a much-needed activity for your physical and mental health versus weight loss. But, if you prefer to have a coffee to give you a boost before your workout, continue to do that. Just know that it’s not going to make a huge difference with burning fat.

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