If you want to improve your performance in the gym, don’t forget the java. Caffeine can help you lift more weight and also lessens your perception of exertion and pain, according to research in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
An hour after drinking the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee, subjects were able to complete more bench press reps compared to their performance after drinking a placebo drink. They also found lifting easier and had less soreness immediately afterward. Caffeine blocks pain and fatigue signals that your muscles send back to your brain, says study author Michael Duncan, Ph.D., of Coventry University in the United Kingdom.
For best results, avoid caffeine for 12 hours before your workout, then have one or two cups of coffee (or tea) an hour before you lift.