Coffee Before Working-out: 4 Ways Coffee Improves Your Exercise Performance

Drinking coffee in moderation has been linked to many health benefits, including weight loss, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s. But is it ok to gulp coffee before working out? Is it even healthy to drink your brew before starting to exercise? We answer these and other related questions here.

Benefits of drinking coffee before working out

Below are some reasons why it is ok to gulp freshly brewed coffee before working out:

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Coffee improves blood circulation

Researches have shown that drinking coffee often enhances blood flow. For coffee aficionados, blood through the small vessels has been seen to increase by 35% for about 75 minutes after taking coffee.

“This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health,” said Masato Tsutsui, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher and a cardiologist and professor in the pharmacology department at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan.

Now considering your muscles require more oxygen when exercising, a cup of coffee is a big plus before exercising for improved blood circulation. Check out other cool facts about coffee.

Coffee improves physical performance

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Every time you drink coffee, levels of adrenaline in the blood increases alerting your body about physical activities about to happen. In other words, taking coffee prepares your body for workout activities.

You may sense your buzz beginning within seconds of your first drink, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s working its way into your system entirely. Coffee wakes up your body by dispersing caffeine into your bloodstream, which has a life of five to six hours (how long it takes your body to burn through half the dosage of caffeine you eat). During that time, the chemical’s relaxing effects will reach your body.

That is not all; drinking coffee also triggers fat cells to break down fat into fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids, in turn, fuel your body when working out. Basically, a cup of coffee before working out goes a long way into boosting your physical performance.

Coffee reduces pain

Various studies have shown that drinking two to three cups of coffee 30 minutes before staring exercising helps hold muscle pains. This means a cup of java before working out will help you exercise harder and harder each day.  

Coffee improves memory

Studies have shown those who take coffee regularly have a good memory of images compared to those who don’t drink coffee often. With that in mind, when it comes to exercising, drinking coffee will help you remember repetitive activities or routines.

Which coffee is good when working out?

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Different coffees have different amounts of caffeine. Knowing how much caffeine your favorite brew has is a big plus. Basically, lighter coffee has more caffeine than roasted coffee. So, if thirsting for more caffeine, consider going for lighter coffees.

The dosage of caffeine has no effect on that, mind you. Whether you’re drinking a basic Starbucks cup or going with a highly concentrated strongest coffee brand like Death Wish (728 mg of caffeine per 12 fl. oz. of coffee)  the saturation will peak at that 45-minute mark around.

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Just be sure to not exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic. That’s the equivalent of four brewed coffee cups— so long as your pre-workout isn’t your fifth hit, you’re going to be good to go.

At the start, consider taking coffee with little amounts of caffeine and increase the amount as your body adapts to caffeine over time. Just remember not to overdo as too much can backfire.

When should you be drinking coffee before workout?

But when are the impacts peaking? At what point does your body get the most out of the stimulus given by the caffeine?

The Response? Not too long after that cup ends, as it turns out. If you’re looking to hit the gym when your caffeine boost is at its most powerful, you’ll want to take a cup of joe down about 45 minutes before you work out.

Studies show that a maximum concentration of caffeine reaches at about 45 minutes after intake. From that point forward, the caffeine burns your body, lessening its effects. So if you hit the weights about 45 minutes after a cup is down, you’ll experience the peak of yourself

Best way to take coffee

Various practices can help you reap the full benefits of coffee when working out. These practices include:

  • Daily dosage: If getting started, consider taking a low amount of caffeine and increase accordingly as you workout. For example, you can start with a dosage of 20mg and increase as your body adapts. Immediately you start feeling shaky, nervous, and anxious, lower your dosage as these are signs that your daily dosage is too high.
  • Increase your water intake: To combat the effects of too much coffee, always down a glass of water. Taking water in the morning before gulping your cup of joe is also a good idea as this helps boost your energy naturally. Make sure to increase your water intake as your coffee intake increases. Do that will help minimize the effects of caffeine in your body.
  • Accurate timing before exercising: To fully feel the impact of drinking after working out, consider downing your brew at least 1 – 2 hours before exercising.  
  • Accost for deficiencies: Deficiency in amino acids can trigger your body to ask for more and more coffee. If that is the case, look for your doctors and discuss how you can boost amino acids without drinking coffee.
  • Consider other alternatives: It is not a must you drink coffee for the best exercising experience. Other alternatives, such as proteins and flavored coffee tea come in handy. If you must drink coffee, coffee-flavored protein powders will never disappoint.

Taking the right amount of coffee is the secret to reaping the full benefits for every cup you drink. For the best experience, make sure you know your body well. That way, it will be easier for you to adjust your dosage as you exercise.

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.