A recent study finds that a cup of coffee after exercise can reduce soreness.
This finding has particular relevance for people new to gym work out, since they tend to experience the most soreness.
'If you can use caffeine to reduce the pain, it may make it easier to transition from that first week into a much longer exercise program,' said lead researcher Victor Maridakis of the University of Georgia.
Victor Maridakis and his colleagues observed nine women who neither drank coffee nor exercised regularly. On the first two days after an exercise session that caused moderate soreness, they were given either coffee or a placebo and asked to continue exercising.
It was found that consuming coffee one hour before a very tough test provided a 48 percent reduction in pain and having coffee before a moderately tough test caused a 26 percent reduction in soreness.
Researchers said regular caffeine users might not experience similar results, as they may be less sensitive to caffeine's effect.
Previous studies have shown caffeine also enhances resilience, and one experiment found that caffeine reduces pain during cycling.
The researchers suggest that caffeine blocks the body's receptors for adenosine released during inflammation, thus bringing relief.