Want to get the skinny on the secret beverage you should be drinking before working out? Well, we’ll fill you in: it’s coffee. Yes, you read that right. The drink that half of America starts their day with is the secret drink you need to be downing before you hit the gym. According to an article by Health Magazine, throwing back that extra cup of coffee before your workout not only energizes you, it may also lead to weight loss and other health benefits.

small coffee cup on wood table

The Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise, burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-workout, compared to those who ingested a placebo. So if you love your morning cup of Joe, here are the top 4 reasons to keep on sipping! Need a little snack to add to that daily coffee? Try one of these amazing secret super foods.

Like your coffee cold? Try this delicious Skinny Mocha Java Protein Smoothie!

Improved circulation: A study was conducted about the circulation in people who were regular coffee drinkers and those who were not. Results showed that those who consumed caffeinated coffee, experienced a 30% increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period, compared to those who drank the decaf version. Meaning, when your blood is circulating, you’re able to get in a better, more efficient workout! Now who doesn’t love that?

working out

Better memory: A study from Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine enhances memory for up to 24 hours after it’s consumed. After showing images to two groups, one caffeinated and one not, the study found that the caffeinated group scored significantly better. Boosted brain function can really come in handy when you’re focusing on specific fitness routines.

Less pain: Scientists at the University of Illinois found that there is a decline in muscle pain for those who consume caffeine (two to three cups), one hour before a 30-minute high intensity workout. This is helpful because we all know that less muscle pain means you can push yourself a little harder during your routine to get that summer body you’re aiming for!

knee pain

Muscle preservation: Studies have shown that drinking caffeine before an intense workout can actually strengthen and preserve your muscles as they age. Not only did the study show that caffeine was preserving skeletal muscles, but the diaphragm was preserved as well, therefore reducing the risk of age-related injuries. This means, moderate amounts of caffeine can actually help your body stay in shape and keep you feeling younger.

So when you’re feeling a little sluggish before your early am workout, make a pit stop at your local coffee shop and sip on a cup before you it the gym! For more information on the health benefits of coffee, click here.