Fitness: Kickstart your workout with a cup of joe

NATO has kicked off nearly a two-week U.S.-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea with more than 7,000 sailors, airmen and marines

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Canadians love their coffee. Most often a morning habit, a jolt of caffeine helps shake off the early blahs. But there’s more to caffeine than its ability to kickstart your day.

It can also boost to your exercise routine, enhancing the performance of elite and recreational athletes, including the average exerciser looking to get the most from their workout.

Confirmed by the International Olympic Committee as one of the few supplements that improves performance, caffeine has long been popular among the world’s best athletes. Urine samples collected from athletes in several sports organizations revealed that 76 per cent use products containing caffeine before and/or during a competition. Widely studied in labs and during real-world competition, the results are impressive. Endurance athletes like cyclists, runners, cross-country skiers and swimmers see a two-to-four-per-cent caffeine-related improvement in performance, with similar results realized among strength and power athletes (sprinters, jumpers, throwers and weightlifters).