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Scientists at the University of Granada, belonging to the Department of Physiology, have shown that taking caffeine (about 3 mg/kg, equivalent to strong coffee) half an hour before aerobic exercise significantly increases fat burning. Also, if this exercise is performed in the afternoon, the effect of caffeine is more pronounced than if it is done in the morning.
In a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers set out to find out whether caffeine, one of the world’s most consumed energizing substances for improving athletic performance, actually increases fat oxidation, or “burning.” during exercise. It’s just that despite its consumption in the form of a supplement is very common, the scientific basis is scarce.
“It is widely practiced to recommend exercising on an empty stomach in the morning to increase fat oxidation during exercise. However, this recommendation may have no scientific basis, as it is not known whether this increase is due to morning exercise or menstruation. Long time, explains the lead author of this research, Francisco José Amaro Gueti, from the Department of Physiology at UGR.
The research included a total of 15 men (mean age 32 years) who completed the exercise test four times at seven-day intervals. Subjects took 3 mg/kg caffeine or placebo at 8:00 am and 5:00 pm (each subject completed the test in all four conditions in random order). Conditions before each exercise test (hours of fasting, physical exercise or consumption of anabolic substances) were rigorously standardized and fat oxidation during exercise was calculated in response.
Maximum Lipid Oxidation
“The results of our study showed that acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before an aerobic exercise test increases maximal fat oxidation during exercise, regardless of the time of day,” explains Francisco J. Amaro.
In addition, a diurnal variation in fat oxidation during exercise was confirmed, with values higher in the afternoon than in the morning at the same fasting times.
These results also show that caffeine increases fat oxidation during morning exercise similar to that observed without caffeine in the afternoon.
In summary, the results of this study suggest that the combination of acute caffeine intake and moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in the afternoon provides the best scenario for individuals looking to increase fat oxidation during exercise.