Coffee can naturally boost fitness by increasing your daily step count, finds study

Woman walking outside with coffee
A study has revealed how coffee can help you walk 1,000 extra steps per day. (Getty Images)

If you're after an easy way to boost your fitness levels then you might be pleased to hear that enjoying a coffee can naturally increase step count, according to a new study.

Researchers have linked caffeine with walking an extra 1,000 steps a day, indicating that the popular beverage may help improve our activity levels without much extra effort.

Gregory Marcus, who conducted the study from the University of California San Francisco, told The Times that it seemed to have helped people become "more motivated to get exercising".

Read more: Science-backed benefits of coffee from living longer to a reduced risk of heart disease

The researcher explained: "There is some evidence that caffeine may enhance physical performance. Anecdotally, you hear people say they have a better run or a better workout after their coffee.”

However, the findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also showed that – while your Apple Watch may be happy – the drink could conversely disrupt your sleep. Nothing is perfect...

Woman pouring coffee from a pot
The research also found that caffeine could disrupt sleep. (Getty Images)

The study, which involved 100 participants who were able to drink as much coffee as they liked, found it caused worse shut-eye at night. Likely not surprising, and why the NHS advises against having caffeinated drinks before bedtime.

However, on days when they abstained from caffeine – which they were randomly instructed to do during the two-week study – they slept for an extra 30 minutes.

Read more: The best reusable coffee cups for a sustainable caffeine fix

Marcus noted that whether an individual's sleep was disrupted or not did vary, with some participants able to metabolise caffeine better than others.

The study was initially intended as an investigation into caffeine consumption and heart health, with no link identified.

There will need to be further research to understand exactly how coffee is able to increase daily walking.

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