That morning cup of coffee may be an antidote to post-exercise muscle soreness, research suggests.
In a small study of female college students, researchers found that a caffeine supplement seemed to lessen the familiar muscle pain that crops up the day after a particularly challenging workout.
Known as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, the pain is common in the day or two after a workout that was more intense than normal.
Exercise involving eccentric contraction of the muscles is particularly likely to cause delayed muscle pain.
In eccentric contraction, the muscle produces a force while it's being lengthened. This happens when a person runs downhill, for example, or lowers a weight during a bicep curl.
Exercisers and researchers alike have tried many ways to prevent DOMS - including over-the-counter painkillers, stretching and massage - but studies have found no cure-all for the problem, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Researchers analysed nine women who didn't drink coffee or exercise regularly.
The volunteers took caffeine or a placebo a few days after working out and then performed thigh exercises.
The results indicate the caffeine users saw pain reduce by 48% when exercising at their maximum.
Victor Maridakis, leader of the study said: "If you can use caffeine to reduce pain, it may make it easier to transition from that forst week into a much longer exercie program."
The British Coffe Association validated the health benefits of coffee saying it can improve alertness and prformance and be used to aid sports training, informs China Daily.