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Go ahead and have that extra cup of coffee – your workout will thank you

Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott are the founders of Tone It Up — a fitness and lifestyle brand. They are certified personal trainers, nutritional coaches and best friends. Karena and Katrina have taken the world by storm with their fun, qu...

Coffee might be the boost your workout has been craving

Every morning, Katrina and I like to start our day with two shots of espresso over ice and a splash of almond milk. It’s part of our morning ritual that helps us take on the day and our workout. Coffee has been used to boost athletic performance for years by trained athletes, but it can also help you achieve your own fitness goals. Keep reading for all of the amazing reasons why you should have a cuppa before heading out to get your sweat session.

More: Want awesome abs? Hit the kitchen instead of the gym

Work a little harder

Sometimes we need a little kick in the booty to get into the workout mood – enter our friend espresso. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help you push yourself a little harder during your next workout. Studies have found that your morning cup of joe increases your performance by 11-12 percent. Not only will you feel more awake for your early morning workout, you’ll also push yourself harder than you would without it! Win, win!

Feel good about going harder

Caffeine increases dopamine levels in your body for those feel good effects. This can help you feel like the badass you are while squatting, running, or curling at the gym! It works by binding to adenosine receptors which indirectly cause the release of dopamine and serotonin. These are the “feel good” hormones that give you positive and happy vibes about your workout, making you want to do even more!

Burn more fat

Studies have found that taking in caffeine prior to your workout causes the body to mobilize fat cells to use for energy. This increase in lipolysis – fat breakdown – causes your body to preferentially use fat stores as energy over other sources. In other words, your body is burning more excess fat than it normally would.

Nibble less later

Another pretty amazing side effect of sipping on your morning java pre-workout is that the caffeine helps you consume fewer calories later in the day. It does this by decreasing the cravings that you would normally have and reducing your need for that afternoon chocolate or candy bar.

More: What your body is really craving after your workout (spoiler: It's not actually doughnuts)

How it’s done

Depending on your own life specifics related to tolerance, genetics, height, and weight, exactly when coffee affects you the most will vary. But on average, studies find that its peak stimulatory effects are between 15 and 120 minutes after drinking. If you want to take advantage of the caffeine buzz for your workout, we recommend drinking your morning cup of joe 45 minutes to an hour before starting your workout.

We recommend black coffee or adding a splash of unsweetened almond milk to decrease the amount of calories. Adding in heaps of fat and sugar will counteract all of the incredible benefits of coffee! Also, if you choose to workout in the afternoon, we suggest skipping the espresso all together. Drinking coffee too late in the day can cause you to lose sleep later in the night.

Not a fan of black coffee? The Tone It Up Nutrition Plan has healthy espresso and coffee recipes like peppermint mocha latte, sweet maple, and cool and creamy cappuccino! We love alternating between all of the different flavors to keep it fun and tasty!

More: 5 ways to stay healthy and fit before your wedding day (even with the cake tastings)

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