Change your genetic makeup by drinking up ... Coffee, that is. A new study published on ScienceDaily.com found that “exercise and caffeine change your DNA in the same way."
The study was reported initially in the March issue of Cell Metabolism. The study looked at the effect of exercise on inactive men and women who were in good health. The findings were that in a span of minutes the subjects’ DNA experienced an immediate effect.
“Perhaps even more tantalizing, the study suggests that the caffeine in your morning coffee might also influence muscle in essentially the same way.” Researchers say it does not affect our “underlying genetic code” but the actual DNA in the muscle.
They describe these findings as a possible precursor to being able to reprogram genetics of, “muscle for strength and, ultimately, in the structural and metabolic benefits of exercise.”
Experts at the Institute of Sweden where the study was conducted, compare our muscles to plastic, saying it takes on the results of what we do. In other words, if you are sedentary there is no change, if you activate them, they will change.
The comparison to caffeine came about “[w]hen the researchers made muscles contract in lab dishes, they saw a similar loss of DNA methyl groups. Exposure of isolated muscle to caffeine had the same effect.”
These modifications were measured by “chemical markings” on the skeletal muscle DNA which researchers say were less after both exercise and exposure to caffeine.
I have been known to hit Starbucks on the way to a workout and I will say coffee does pump me up to accelerate my speed and intensity. Many feel the same reaction, and for this reason caffeine and its effect on weight loss is another area of study in relationship to metabolic efficiency and speed.
The Mayo Clinic says that the relationship between weight loss and caffeine may not be “definitive” but there are a few theories. “Caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis — one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food. But this probably isn't enough to produce significant weight loss.”