Is it okay to drink coffee before a workout or run?

As I sit here drinking instant coffee (yes. instant. a travesty.) I was wondering whether I should be drinking coffee before a workout, after a workout or at all. Let’s be serious, there’s probably no way I’d ever give up coffee (it would be disastrous for everyone around me.) That is to say, unless a study comes out showing me definitively that coffee will give me a third eye, tail or something weird. And in any case, I may even take those consequences gladly if it means I can enjoy my daily cuppa joe.

I love a good cup of coffee. From Cappucino and latte to espresso. I like beans from Columbia, Hawaii and Peru (just to name a few.) Enjoy my Keurig and relish using my French press. For those of us coffee fiends, there is some good news: no impact, positive or negative, on cancer development. YAHOO! When was the last time you heard such a thing?

Other studies suggest that coffee consumption reduces the risk of being affected by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s,heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and gout. Further, a longitudinal study from 2009 showed that those who enjoyed 2-3 cups of tea/coffee per day (mid-life) were less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s. (This is compared to those who drank little or none.)

But with the good, comes the bad. Coffee can increase the risk of acid reflux, headaches, lead to iron deficiency anemia and of course can cause sleep disturbances.

So back to the purpose of this post: is coffee okay to drink before a workout or run?

  • Well, coffee before a workout can potentially increase weight loss (thank goodness.) The caffeine in a cup of coffee can speed up your metabolism, providing a burst of energy to help you with your workout (perhaps helping you push harder at higher intensity.)
  • Caffeine can trigger muscles to use fat as an energy source, rather than carbs (affects are short-lived and vary)
  • Caffeine has been found to enhance athletes performance during endurance activities and boosts stamina

These are all great things. But with the good comes the bad. Again.

  • If you have a cardiovascular condition, having a cuppa joe before a run or workout may be dangerous (coffee + jogging is intense effect on heart rate and blood pressure)
  • And, if you have hypertension, you should avoid coffee before a workout

I’m curious to hear what everyone else thinks about coffee before a workout. Has it made any difference? Good/Bad?

To learn more, check out the Livestrong website.

3 thoughts on “Is it okay to drink coffee before a workout or run?

  1. I drank half a cup of coffee (plunger not instant) before my first 5k. I swear it helped! I did it again yesterday morning and it felt good then too. Drink up I say!

  2. I believe coffee is a natural and excellent stimulant. Coffee is not bad for you, it’s what we put in our coffee that can make it bad.
    Keep up the pre workout java just make sure you get plenty of water during and after as caffeine is a diuretic.

  3. Great feedback, thanks! I usually have a cup before going out…especially if I have to run in the morning. I’m happy to hear that’s okay!

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