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8 ULTIMATE Caffeine & Coffee Workout Questions Answered!

8 ULTIMATE Caffeine & Coffee Workout Questions Answered!

Coffee for workout - all your burning quick fire questions answered!

THE WHY:

Why is coffee good for a pre-workout?

Caffeine (and of course coffee) has been widely researched as an effective ergogenic acid — or performance enhancer — in both strength and cardio training. Its benefits may include:

  • increased muscular strength, endurance, and power
  • increased aerobic endurance
  • improved sprinting, jumping, and throwing performance
  • sparing glycogen stores and utilizing fat as a main fuel source
  • enhanced focus and alertness

Interestingly, caffeine has been shown to be effective for both athletes and non-athletes, meaning that the average gym-goer still benefits. 

THE WHEN:

When to drink coffee for a pre-workout?

Drinking coffee around 45–60 minutes before a workout allows for caffeine to reach its peak effectiveness. Most studies indicate that caffeine is highly effective for workouts when consumed in doses of 0.9–2.7 mg per pound (2–6 mg per kg) of body weight.

THE CAN:

Can I drink coffee as a pre-workout?

Adding dairy or plant-based milk contributes a small amount of calories, protein, and carbs but likely won’t affect your performance. However, if you plan to do fasted cardio — or exercise before eating — you should only drink black coffee, which contains no carbs.

Avoid drinking commercial coffees (which you can buy coffee shops) that contain added syrups and flavourings, which are usually high in calories and sugar. Not only will these drinks potentially hinder your fitness goals, but they’re also harder to digest.

THE WHICH:

Which coffee is best before a workout?

Any type of brewed coffee likely supports sports performance, in particular our gymBrew™ which is specifically tailored to sports - higher caffeinated, lower acidity and higher in rich polyphenols than regular coffee.

That said, it’s best to avoid commercial frappe type coffees since they’re often high in sugar and calories.

THE IS:

Is coffee good for pre workout?

Coffee is a delicious, cost-effective beverage that may help you achieve your fitness goals. gymBrew™ works out at roughly only 38 pence per cup!

This popular drink has been linked to greater strength, power, and endurance during a workout. For best results, drink around 1–2 cups (240–475 mL) 45–60 minutes before your workout.

Keep in mind that many prefer to exercise on an empty stomach, and some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Therefore, it’s best to listen to your body and find an amount that’s comfortable for you. 

How Caffeine Works - from Healthline:

Caffeine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, and blood levels peak after 90-100 minutes. Caffeine levels remain high for 3–4 hours, and then start to drop (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Unlike most substances and supplements, caffeine can affect cells throughout the body, including muscle cells and brain (6Trusted Source).

For this reason, caffeine’s effects on the body are quite varied. These include:

  • The nervous system: Caffeine activates areas of the brain and nervous system to improve focus and energy, while reducing tiredness (6Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
  • Hormones: Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the hormone responsible for the “fight or flight” response, which can increase performance (3Trusted Source).
  • Fat burning: Caffeine can increase the body’s ability to burn fat via lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat in fat cells (3Trusted Source).
  • Endorphins: β-endorphins can increase feelings of wellness, and give you the exercise “high” that people often experience after working out (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
  • Muscles: Caffeine may impact the motor cortex, which is a part of the brain that signals muscle activation (11Trusted Source).
  • Body temperature: Caffeine has been shown to increase thermogenesis, or heat production, which helps you burn more calories (12Trusted Source).
  • Glycogen: Caffeine may also spare muscle carb stores, primarily due to increased fat burning. This can enhance endurance performance (13Trusted Source).

Caffeine eventually gets broken down in the liver (6Trusted Source).

Caffeine & Endurance Performance -  from Healthline

Caffeine is the go-to supplement for many athletes.

Due to its positive effects on exercise performance, some organizations — such as the NCAA — have even started to ban it in high doses.

One study found that 9.8 mg/lb (4.45 mg/kg, or about 400 mg total) of caffeine increased endurance in athletes.

They were able to cover 1.3–2 miles (2–3.2 km) more than the placebo group (14Trusted Source).

In a study of cyclists, caffeine was shown to be superior to carbs or water. It increased work load by 7.4%, compared to 5.2% in the carb group (15Trusted Source).

One study combined caffeine and carbs, which improved performance by 9% compared to water alone, and 4.6% compared to carbs alone (16Trusted Source).

Other research has tested coffee, due to its naturally high levels of caffeine.

In a 1,500-meter run, regular coffee drinkers were 4.2 seconds faster than those drinking decaf. Another study found that coffee helped reduce the perception of effort, allowing athletes to work harder (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Caffeine & Fat Loss - from Healthline

Caffeine is a common ingredient in weight loss supplements.

Early research has shown that taking caffeine before exercise increases the release of stored fat by 30% (1Trusted Source).

Another study found that caffeine supplements significantly increased the release of stored fat before and at the end of a workout (29Trusted Source).

Caffeine can also increase the amount of fat you burn during exercise. It increases heat production and epinephrine, which helps burn additional calories and fat (3Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

However, there is currently no evidence that caffeine enhances weight loss in the long-term in exercising individuals.

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