Should You Drink Coffee Before You Workout?

By Jane Sandwood

So youíve made a New Year Resolution to be fit in 2018, you hired a personal trainer to keep you motivated and you started to eat a lot more healthily. But you canít quite kick your coffee habit...donít worry, you are not alone! Statistic show that 44% of Americans drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily and recent research indicates that drinking three to four cups of black coffee a day provides health benefits. But how does coffee affect your workout? Is it making it easier or harder?

Whatís In A Cup Of Coffee?

A cup of black coffee contains hardly any fat, carbohydrates or protein and is naturally very low in calories. Coffee itself contains minerals and vitamins including potassium, magnesium and nicotinic acid. Of course, anything else that is added to coffee will affect its nutritional content. It won't come as a surprise to discover that coffee is the biggest source of caffeine in our diets, with a cup of coffee containing on average 95mg of caffeine, although this amount is dependent on the type of coffee, coffee beans, roast, serving size and strength. Caffeine is a naturally occurring Central Nervous System stimulant increasing wakefulness, alleviating fatigue and improving concentration and focus.

Impact Of Coffee On Your Workout

The optimal time to drink a coffee before your workout is around an hour before. This is because caffeine is quickly absorbed and reaches its peak stimulatory effect between 30 and 75 minutes after being drunk. And the great is news; contrary to popular opinion, coffee is not a diuretic and does not dehydrate you; although one study showed that caffeine may cause increased sodium excretion from your body, which is why adding some salt to your coffee to replenish sodium is a great solution. Moreover, studies show that caffeine affects physical performance during endurance exercise, increasing performance, endurance capacity and a reduction in perceived exertion. This is because caffeine slows glycogen depletion by encouraging the body to use more fat as fuel so helping conserve energy over long periods of time. Moreover, a pre-workout coffee before a batch of high-intensity exercise reduces perceived muscle pain, helping you push harder during strength training workouts and therefore increasing muscular strength and endurance. There is also a positive effect on weight loss, having a pre-workout coffee means that you burn 15% more calories in the 3 hours after you have worked out.

So this is great news, not only can you keep drinking your daily coffee (or two or three!) but it is also having a positive impact on your workout as well as having positive health benefits. So enjoy a cup of coffee and get working out.