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Coffee & Fitness

Coffee Before Workout

When you are about to go for a workout, an additional energy boost is sometimes a necessity.

The choices are numerous when picking drinks to help boost energy. Coffee is the predominant go-to drink when one is preparing to workout. There are two reasons for which coffee is the go-to drink. The first is because it’s cost-effective, and the other is because of its high caffeine content. These two attributes make it an effective option to boost energy for a workout.

man and woman exercising at gym after having pre-workout coffee.

Despite it being common, you might be curious to know if it is good for you; hereby wanting to know of any possible disadvantages to taking coffee right before a workout.

This piece would be informative to tell you if it is okay to take coffee before a workout and what coffee type is the best choice.

Advantages of coffee before a workout 

One beverage that has gained so much popularity all over the world is coffee. In a coffee can be found antioxidants, nutrients and caffeine in the purest form. It in terms of taste, it is delicious. Above all, it is very cost-effective for the common man.

The aim of consuming coffee before a workout for many people is to help them get more energy to achieve their set goals. It might look like the norm, but it is not a necessity to consume coffee before a workout. You can achieve a great workout session without taking coffee.

Research has established that caffeine is a very active performance enhancing substances that are good for both energy and training one’s stamina. The following has been identified as the advantages;

  • You gain stamina, power and your muscles gain more strength.
  • You gain stamina for rhythmic aerobic exercises.
  • Better performance in terms of throwing, jumping and running.
  • It helps to use fat as a source of fuel and moderately stores glycogen.
  • It helps to keep you alert and focused.

Remarkably, the advantage of caffeine does not apply to athletes alone but also to non-athletes. This makes it a very advantageous drink to all category.


A popular sports performance enhancer is coffee, and it helps to enhance alertness, stamina, power, energy, and strength in the course of a workout.

The right time to drink coffee before workout and quantity

Studies show that the right time to consume coffee before a workout is a period of 45 to 60 minutes before your workout. This is done to give ample time for the absorption of the caffeine into the body and also let the effect kick in.

The international body that oversees sports nutrition buttresses the point that caffeine is an active performance enhancing substance. The quantity consumed is approximate 2 to 6 milligrams for every kilogram of body weight.

Nevertheless, an average athlete should take the least of 2 milligrams of caffeine. This quantity would give the athlete the most benefit.

It is estimated that the amount of caffeine present in a cup of coffee is about 100 milligrams. In view of this estimate, an average of 1 to 2 cups of coffee taken at about 45 to 60 minutes before a workout is appropriate. This quantity would give just the right amount of caffeine needed to boost your performance.


You are consuming your coffee at an estimated 45 to 60 minutes before your workout is mist appropriate. The quantity most effective to boost performance is an estimate of about 2 to 6 milligrams per kilogram weight. This makes the estimated quantity an outcome of individual weight.

Disadvantages of coffee before a workout 

Despite coffee being a healthy drink, consuming it before a workout has some disadvantages.

  1. Problem with the digestive system and stomach upset

This is one disadvantage that can arise in the course of your workout as a result of the redirection of blood by the body to the muscles in action against your digestive system. This is one disadvantage that can cause one to rather a chooser to work out without coffee.

This disadvantage can be prevented in two ways. The first is by ensuring you take your coffee 45 to 60 minutes before your workout. This would allow it to get absorbed properly into the body before a workout. The second prevention method is by choosing espresso instead of coffee. This way, you get the same amount of caffeine but with a lower volume.

  1. Sensitivity to Caffeine

This is one disadvantage that occurs in some people. This sensitivity causes a heightened heart rate, jitters, anxiety and stomach upset. The only way to prevent this sensitivity to reduce the quantity consumed to an average of about 1 to 2 cups every day.

  1. Insomnia

Insomnia is a possible outcome of too much caffeine in your system. When you have difficulty sleeping, it is only expected that your workout performance would also be affected. Sleep is key, and coffee can take this away from you. This is not a death sentence or a life-threatening situation. The way out is to structure your coffee time properly. Caffeine is said to have a half-life of about 5 hours. This implies that it would be best to consume your last caffeine before bed at about 6 to 8 hours earlier. That way, you can be sure it would be out of your system.

The main point is that coffee is best avoided if it proves inconvenient to you. This does not imply your workout session would not be as productive. With a healthy lifestyle, you would be fit to do your workout even without caffeine.


Caffeine sensitivity for people differs and can cause stomach upset. This points out that coffee before a workout is not for everyone.

Coffee types to try before your workout

The source of caffeine is just not limited to coffee alone. It could also be candies, gums, supplements or any other sports nutrient enhancers.

Known studies on coffee to check for its performance enhancement properties all use regular or instant coffee. And from these studies, there has been no significant difference in the effect of the two major brewing types. This also led us to infer that the same applies to all other methods of brewing like the espresso, French press, and pod brew.

Infusing dairy products into your coffee does not in any way impede caffeine output. The presence of dairy only adds other nutrients like carb and protein. Although if you specifically plan to engage in fasted cardio (a workout without food), it is important to know that your coffee should be consumed black without any dairy products.

Special coffees should be avoided because they do not digest quickly. Special coffees are coffees that have been flavoured or infused with syrups. They always have high-calorie content and unfit for workout goals.


The simple natural coffee is best and most likely is good for a workout. Any coffee with anything extra should be avoided because of its high-calorie content.

Possible side effects and risks

The average adult’s tolerance for coffee is about 3 to 4 cups every day. However, individual tolerance for caffeine varies. Some can consume so much without any side effect whatsoever, while others at just a cup can exhibit one or more of the following side effects.

  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Stomach upset
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Fast pulse
  • Increased heart rate
  • Edginess
  • Irritability

Asides from the listed side effects, a rare and more severe case could occur. This comes as a result of too much exercise, thereby causing muscle breakdown. Muscle breakdown is a condition known as rhabdomyolysis and can also become a more severe outcome of kidney failure.

For women who are pregnant, the amount of coffee they consume daily should not exceed 2 cups for a workout except otherwise stated by their physician.


To prevent any side effects of consuming coffee before a workout, it is best to ensure the amount of caffeine consumed does not exceed 3 to 4 cups daily.

The salient point

Coffee is an affordable and sweet drink that can help in attaining workout goals. This is a drink of every average man and has been associated with power, agility and stamina during exercise. The right time to take an estimate of about 1 to 2 cups is at about 45 to 60 minutes before exercising.

Do not forget that everybody is unique in itself and has a different tolerance level. While some would rather engage in fasted cardio, and others have really high caffeine sensitivity, others can take as much coffee as possible without side effects. Knowing all these, it is crucial to pay close attention to what your body is most contented with and stick with that quantity.


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