Joseph Ciccolo, PhD
Joseph T. Ciccolo, Ph.D., is a Program Director in the Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) within the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). His primary research interests are broadly focused on the efficacy of novel clinical treatments for addiction and mental illness. His specific area of interest has been cigarette smoking cessation in high-risk and hard-to-reach populations. He is particularly interested in mechanisms of change and behavioral strategies that can be used to help smokers quit.
Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Ciccolo was the Principal Investigator of multiple NIH-funded clinical trials, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. He also was a regular grant reviewer for the Center for Scientific Review and has served as a Senior Associate Editor and an editorial board member for several scientific journals. To date, Dr. Ciccolo has authored over 70 original scientific papers, reviews, and other publications. After receiving his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, he completed an NIH-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.Full Bio
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I have a friend who drinks coffee on her way to the gym. She says it improves her performance. Doesn't coffee dehydrate the body? Do you recommend drinking coffee before working out?
Although caffeine is a diuretic, a very recent study has busted the conventional wisdom that drinking coffee (or other caffeine use) can worsen dehydration or hyperthermia during exercise. Even moderate levels of caffeine consumption have not been shown to negatively affect exercise performance through dehydration/fluid or electrolyte balance, temperature regulation or diminished heat tolerance.
In addition, other studies have shown no significant differences in exercise performance when comparing a caffeine drink to a placebo.
Given the lack of evidence for or against pre-exercise caffeine consumption, I would suggest that if you want to drink coffee before you work out, do it on a trial-and-error basis. Caffeine's effect on your digestive system may affect how you feel when working out, which could be important to your exercise enjoyment and success.