Recent data suggest caffeine has pain-lowering powers of its own — at least when it comes to the pain associated with exercise. University of Georgia researchers showed that moderate doses of caffeine — equivalent to two cups of joe — reduced post-workout pain by almost 50 percent.

Research has shown that a moderate daily intake of 3-4 cups of coffee has protective effects against:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Parkinson's diseas
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer's disease,
  • Suicide
  • Depression.

However, pregnant women, people suffering from anxiety disorder and persons with a low calcium intake should restrain from moderate or high intake of coffee due to uncertainty regarding potential negative effects on pregnancy, anxiety and risk of osteoporosis, respectively.

Caffeine seems to raise your pain threshold during exercise, making it easier to keep exercising or work out harder than you would have otherwise. Just don't overdo it. "If you are going to work out, get a cup of coffee on the way," Black says. "There's good evidence it makes your muscles feel better."

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