Journal Of Applied Physiology: Coffee Can Help Mask Hunger, Keep Calorie Intake Down

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Does a cup of coffee before a workout jolt your athletic performance?

According to a new scientific study, caffeine affects physiology, mood, alertness and even appetite, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday.

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Christopher Davies, the general manager of New York Sports Club in Garden City, is a fitness expert, decorated body builder and a coffee guru.

“Caffeine is natural, simple and it works,” Davies said.

Can a cup of coffee motivate you to relish your trips to the gym this winter? That is at the heart of a notable new study of caffeine and exercise just published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Participants rode stationary bikes in two moderate workouts. An hour and a half before each session, they drank two eight-ounce cups of black coffee or four cups of tea.

Prior to their second workout they consumed decaf.

They all reported the first ride was easier and that they were alert and engaged.

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“I notice that if you don’t overdo it, if you just have a little bit of caffeine, I notice that it definitely does help my workout,” gym patron Nicole Scrofani said.

“I find that after I drink my coffee and do my workout I usually don’t have my first meal until around lunchtime,” added gym patron Barbara Punturo said.

The study also found coffee can mask hunger. Subjects with caffeine ate 72 fewer calories at lunch after their workouts. They also reported that caffeine kept them from overindulging later in the day and made gym time more fun.

When asked what would happen if she doesn’t have coffee or tea, gym patron Marian Adams said, “I definitely wouldn’t have enough energy, but I also pair that with peanut butter.”

Some doctors say water, non-sugary juices and protein shakes are safer alternatives for those who suffer jitters and high blood pressure from caffeine, McLogan reported.

“I love drinking shakes with fruits and vegetables. That really sustains me more than going and having another cup of coffee after my workout,” gym patron Amy Hanrahan said.

However, researchers in this study found fatigue-fighting mood enhancers in coffee, meaning maybe your gym gear should include a travel mug.

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While most of the volunteers in the study drank beverages, some ingested caffeine capsules or placebos, McLogan reported.