SPOKANE, Wash. -

Half of Americans say they start their day with a cup of coffee, but your morning joe could be more than just an eye-opener. A new study shows that coffee could help you lose weight. 

A new study suggests that if you follow this pattern -- drink coffee first, then hit the gym -- you are more likely to lose more weight. 

The study was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 

Researchers found that athletes who took in caffeine before their workout burned 15 percent more calories for three hours after they completed their exercise than those who didn't. 

But how much caffeine do you need?

They found that this effect kicked in for a 150 pound woman after roughly 300 milligrams of caffeine. That's the amount in a 12 ounce cup of coffee. 

But before you brew a whole pot, there is the risk of overdoing it. Dietitians say the maximum amount of caffeine that you should have for enhanced performance is just about the equivalent of 16 ounces of coffee. 

And coffee has also been linked to other benefits. 

In additional studies, coffee has found found to improve circulation, which can also benefit your workouts. 

Plus, if you experience pain after working out, drinking coffee beforehand can help that s well. Scientists at University of Illinois found that consuming two to three cups of coffee one hour before working out can reduce muscle pain. 

And who doesn't want to improve their memory? A study from Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine enhances memory for up to 24 hours after it is consumed.