It’s common to stretch and hydrate before and during your workout to get the most out of your efforts. But have you considered adding a cup of joe to your exercise routine? That’s right – coffee. 

The upside of a pre-workout coffee 

Drinking coffee before your workout can actually give you more energy, which can help you reach your fitness goals. 

Studies have shown that caffeine can increase performance by about 12% and decrease perceived effort by about 6%. How does it work? Caffeine makes you more alert - it’s easier to exercise when you feel less tired and have more energy. 

It’s also believed to help muscles burn more fat, which means they can go longer than when they burn glycogen (a version of glucose) for energy. It may even work directly on muscles by helping them generate power more efficiently.   

Caffeine can raise your metabolic rate as well as reduce post-workout muscle soreness. 

The benefits you might see in your workouts are: 

  • increased muscular strength, endurance, and power 
  • increased aerobic endurance 
  • improved sprinting, jumping, and throwing performance 
  • enhanced focus and alertness 

Other benefits are: 

  • lowered risk of heart disease and cancer 
  • decrease in depression and anxiety 
  • lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes 
  • reduced risk of other physical and mental health conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s  
  • it’s a good source of antioxidants 

When and what to drink 

Research suggests you drink one to two cups of coffee about 45 minutes to an hour before you exercise. This gives your body time to absorb it so you can reap the most benefit. 

Avoid specialty coffees that contain cream, syrups and added flavours. They are usually high in fat, sugar and calories, which can offset the gains. 

Things to consider 

There could be disadvantages to bringing coffee into your workout routine. 

Some people may suffer from stomach upset or digestive issues. A helpful tip is to try espresso shots instead. Espresso has more caffeine, but takes up less room in your belly. 

Some may be sensitive to caffeine, which can make them feel jittery or anxious. 

It’s also best to keep your coffee drinking to morning and early afternoon, as it can disrupt sleep patterns and increase stress hormones. 

Click here for tips on brewing the perfect cup to have before your next workout.