Can Coffee Really Boost Workout Performance?

Ok ok – I’ll admit I have been known to have… an unhealthy relationship with the caffeinated bev. I can go from Mogwai to Gremlin in a matter of an hour if I don’t get my morning cup o’ joe.

We’ve broken up, on occasion, for this very reason. But it always finds it’s way back into my life… and finally, I’m ready to make the commitment.

Can Coffee Boost Your Workout Performance?

I love coffee, and as long as I stick to these rules, I don’t have any negative effects:

  1. Don’t exceed 3 cups a day
  2. Don’t drink it past 2pm
  3. Don’t drink instant (I actually still like the taste of a good ol’ Nescafe Gold, but it leaves my head feeling muddy)

My favourite cup of the day is of course number 1. It happens after my elaborate morning ritual, and before going out for a walk or to the gym. I’ve noticed on the occasions I don’t have this cup pre-workout, I lack the motivation and energy.

I thought it might be a bit of a placebo, but it’s really very noticeable and I know I get a better (and more enjoyable) workout if I get that cup of coffee in.

Today’s post comes from a fellow coffee ambassador, Rudy Caretti Gimoka Coffee UK and G Coffee Pod.

Coffee pre-workout

Boost Workout Performance Performance With A Cup of Coffee

Coffee before workout-yes or no? This has been a topic of contention among many fans of coffee and exercising. Their dilemma is fuelled by the many myths that surround this beverage.

With whispers about coffee being able to cause dehydration or increase blood pressure, who wants to down a cup when preparing for exercise? A lot of research has gone into demystifying some of the beliefs people have held about coffee for long. The most intriguing bit is that through the research, coffee has shown various qualities that could be tapped to help athletes perform better. Here is a look at how you can boost your workout performance with a cup of coffee;

1. Aids fat loss

If you make black coffee your pre-workout drink, you are one step ahead in your journey to weight loss. This is because caffeine can be the surefire that will get your body’s metabolic processes on red high and keep them there throughout the day. The result is that you lose more fat in such a day compared to the days you went caffeine-free.

According to a Spanish study recorded in The International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, caffeine intake before a workout can increase calories burned within 3 hours after exercise by approximately 15 percent. The experiment was comparing the performance of trained athletes who downed 4.5 mg caffeine per kilogram of their body weight with those who took a placebo.

Other than increasing the rate at which you burn excess fat, coffee does suppress your appetite and consuming it will keep your food intake in check effortlessly.

2. Caffeine can help enhance athletic performance

Have you noticed that most supplements used by athletes during training have caffeine or coffee extracts? You would wonder why anyone would discourage you from drinking coffee but recommend supplements made with the same product. It actually feels like a conspiracy to keep you from enjoying the pleasures of the red berry. There is scientific proof that caffeine in coffee can boost your performance during a workout session.

According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology& Metabolism, on January 14, 2009, caffeine before a workout triggers production of endorphins during exercise.

Endorphins are simply the feel-good hormones in the body. If they are high during exercise, this means the body can tolerate (even, enjoy) long and intensive workouts. Your muscles can work harder and better, thus improving the workout results.

3. Gain and preserve muscles

There are studies that indicate that caffeine can cause the body to get its energy during a workout from fat cells. This preserves your muscle’s glycogen. This argument is supported by a research finding by Coventry University that indicated that caffeine can deter loss of muscle strength resulting from age-related causes.

Coffee pre-workout energy

4. Pain reduction

Based on a report by researchers at the University of Illinois, consuming coffee before a workout can reduce the amount of pain experienced on your muscles. During the research, subjects who took decaffeinated coffee did not show any reduction of muscle pain. In this case, a daily dose of caffeine can enable you to run faster, longer, and endure more rounds in a weight lifting session.

Basically, coffee is a stimulant that acts on your central nervous system to alter the adenosine receptor’s response to pain. Through this process, caffeine will dampen the way these receptors perceive resulting from any pressure exerted on muscles during a workout. This in return increases the body muscles’ tolerance to pain, making one able to train further on endurance and resistance exercises.

5. Improve focus

Coffee can improve your brain’s ability to stay alert for long. Based on a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers, coffee can boost one’s memory for a period of 24 hours. This is because it causes a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to trigger stem brain cells which regenerate into new neurons that revive performance of the brain. During a workout, this is important especially if you are planning to train for long. Keeping focused on the exercises increases your chances of getting the desired results.

Generally, a cup of coffee taken 30 minutes before a workout session could be the boost you need to attain better results. Of importance is to watch out how you take your caffeine dose.

Many want to try the supplements containing the caffeine extract only to achieve similar results. What they may not realise is that caffeine, on its own, can be toxic.

Besides, coffee has other components such as polyphenol antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids which help in watering down the harsh effects of caffeine as well as enhancing the drink’s benefits to the body. Avoid artificial sweeteners, sugar, milk, and creamer if you are to see your cup of Joe improve your workout performance effectively.


A bit more about Rudy…

Since he roasted his first batch of coffee seeds as a teenager, he was fascinated by the many ways it can be processed to get the many different distinctive flavours we all love. As a coffee connoisseur, Rudy has always been aware of the vital role played by coffee in most people’s social life and he is especially active through the company’s social media and blog.

He loves sharing his knowledge with readers around the world, writing and posting articles that range from the coffee brewing techniques to raising awareness of the importance of responsible production to help protect the rights of farmers and protect the environment.

Do you use coffee as a pre-workout drink?

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  1. says

    This was so incredibly interesting! I’m a new coffee addict (as of a few months ago) and really need to try it before a workout now!

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