Pros Of Drinking Coffee Before Working Out
1. It Could Enhance Your Performance
According to a review of studies by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, caffeine is an effective ergogenic aid for sustained maximal endurance activity, and has also been shown to be very effective for enhancing time trial performance. (Translation: Caffeine is an effective tool for helping you work out better and longer.) Timing matters, though. Caffeine’s effects on the body typically peak about one to two hours after you drink it, meaning you should aim to start your workout 45 to 60 minutes after downing a cup of joe to reap the maximum benefits.
2. It Could Help You Focus
A natural stimulant, caffeine has been shown time and time again (in studies like this one from the journal Psychopharmacology) to boost mental focus, alertness and general cognitive function. If you’ve ever half-assed your way through a slow-flow yoga class, you might benefit from the added concentration a cup of coffee can provide. Note that for many people there’s a thin line between harnessing caffeine’s focus-boosting powers and feeling jittery and anxious, so don’t chug five shots of espresso and expect to turn into Serena Williams—the normal amount of coffee your body is used to will suffice.
3. It Could Make You Enjoy Your Workout More
OK, so this one isn’t super well researched, but one small study at Queensland’s Griffith University found that drinking caffeine before and after moderate exercise increased EE (energy expenditure) while improving exercise enjoyment. It’s a small study, sure. But hey, we’ll take it.
4. It Could Reduce Muscle Pain
According to a University of Rhode Island study, caffeine significantly reduced post-workout muscle soreness when compared to a placebo. The participants drinking coffee before doing upper-body weight training were also able to complete more reps on their final set. Results indicated that drinking caffeine before intense training improves athletic performance and lessens the amount of time for muscle recovery.
Cons Of Drinking Coffee Before Working Out
It Might Not Be Smart For Evening Exercisers
In many cases, coffee can be a welcomed addition to a fitness routine. One exception? If you’re someone who works out late at night. It’s generally agreed upon that you should stop drinking caffeine four to six hours before going to bed (there are obviously those unicorns who can end the night with an espresso and sleep like a baby, but you get it). Also, obviously, if you’re someone who has a rocky relationship with coffee for whatever reason, skip it and opt for caffeinated tea (plus water) instead.