Having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning definitely perks you up with a jolt of energy. But when it comes to exercise, should you have coffee before a workout? If you want to boost your performance, drinking coffee before a workout might be the solution you’ve been looking for. While it’s still possible to have an effective and great workout without the extra caffeine boost, the properties of coffee have been shown to contribute to greater endurance, burned calories, and metabolic rate when it comes to working out. The combination of coffee and exercise might seem like an unlikely pair, but science says you should grab a cup before heading to the gym.
Lauren Blake, registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, confirms that “caffeine improves both endurance and resistance training. The Limits of Human Endurance explains that caffeine increases dopamine in the brain, especially in the areas related to focus, vigilance and perception of fatigue. Some studies have shown that people exercise harder after they had consumed caffeine than when they did not have any caffeine.”
How much coffee should you drink before a workout? Lauren Blake advises that a healthy adult can drink about three to four cups of coffee a day. So even if you’re exercising at night after many cups of coffee, you shouldn’t feel restricted from working out.
Natalie Uhling, creator of NUFit, also advocates for coffee before a workout. She reports that "getting a healthy dose of caffeine before your workout is great. Coffee can also help to increase your performance, improve your focus, and most importantly get you fired up.”
It’s also important to note that while coffee boasts exercise benefits, energy drinks and other caffeinated beverages do not. Coffee is considerably better for your body than chemically processed alternatives. “The majority of these pre-workout and energy drinks put your system in a state of shock, slowing down the metabolism and doing more harm than good. The best thing about coffee is that the only ingredient it contains is coffee,” Courtney Paul, RIPPED Fitness celebrity trainer reveals. Furthermore, coffee increases your metabolism, meaning you can burn more calories during your workout. Coffee is also an appetite suppressant, allowing you to train for longer periods of time.
So, go ahead, brew a cup and get ready to power through your next workout.