TODAY'S LIST: Five ways coffee can help your workouts

It might sound like a bad idea to drink coffee right before a workout. But there are some real health benefits, if you don't overdo it. You might lose more weight, for instance. Here are five other good reasons to do it:

1. It improves circulation. Which leads directly to a better workout, because your muscles get more oxygen.

2. Less pain. One study showed that two or three cups of coffee before high-intensity exercise caused a reduction in perceived pain during the workout. This could be because the muscles get more oxygen, or because you push harder and get stronger.

3. Better memory. Caffeine enhances memory for up to 24 hours after you consume it. So you won't leave things out of your routine when you're in the gym all afternoon.

4. Muscle preservation. Caffeine can help you stay stronger as you age. It basically keeps your muscles younger, and that reduces the risk of age-related injuries.

5. More energy to the muscles. Drinking coffee along with your post-exercise meal can help the body produce more fuel for your muscles. So you'll have more energy in reserve the next time you work out.

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