Can you drink coffee before working out – should you?

What do you think? Can you drink coffee before working out? If so should you?

This may be a question you ask yourself and the answer is a resounding YES you can drink coffee before working out. If fact, you probably should drink coffee before working out.

I have heard that coffee has great health benefits in the past and now just recently there seems to be even more evidence to enjoy coffee!  I am really pleased with even more evidence that coffee is very good for you. I love coffee and drink two cups every morning. When I am working out, I drink an extra cup a little before.

The workout benefits of coffeecan you drink coffee before working out on


Coffee of course gives a boost in energy levels. Studies have found that there is in fact a link between athletic performance and caffeine intake before exercise. Everyone is different but having at least 1 cup of coffee about 1 hour before exercise can improve endurance and performance.

The caffeine in coffee really helps with energy levels and you may find that your workout is so much easier and your form is better as your focus is sharper.

I don’t think my workout would be as fun either as my energy level gets a boost, so does my mood.

– Metabolism

Having two to three cups of coffee can increase metabolism as much as 25% above baseline most notably in the first 30 to 90 minutes after consumption. Your metabolism gets going and that means a great energetic workout.

Increased metabolism not only means a great workout, but I find that I am more energetic the rest of the day. This is probably due in part because of the coffee and in part just feeling good from exercising and because I did exercise!

-Appetite suppressantcan you drink coffee before working out.

Coffee not only increases metabolism but also is an appetite suppressant. You will tend to eat less overall thereby helping to shed unwanted pounds. A study done at the Griffin University Center for Health Innovations has shown “less hunger and a greater sensation of fullness in those having 2 coffees.”

I used to always drink coffee before my meal because I felt it helped me eat less. It is really a great way to suppress your appetite without any diet pills. Although, you can get Caffeine pills to take if you don’t like the taste of coffee.

-Improved focus

Theobromine is a metabolite of caffeine. It is also a central nervous system stimulant.

Caffeine helps you focus on your workout. This can help out power and endurance, helping to buffer our perception of effort. If you can focus when you are exercising, you actually get a more effective workout.

Your form will be better and the muscles you are trying to effect will be targeted and the outcome will be much better. For instance, focusing on a certain muscle or muscle group as we perform the movement improves the actual performance and outcome.


-Decreased muscle pain

Research at The university of Illinois showed that those that consumed coffee prior to exercise had less muscle pain during Can you drink coffee before working outexercise and The Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island showed that there was delayed muscle soreness in those that had ingested caffeine.

Theophylline is another metabolite of caffeine. It has a stimulus effect along with anti inflammatory properties. It also blocks the action of adenosine a neurotransmitter that induces sleep.

A recent article in the European Journal of Sports Science states:

The Efficacy of acute caffeine ingestion in enhancing aerobic performance is well established.”

Can you drink coffee before working out

-Accelerated fat loss

Coffee before a workout can accelerate fat burning.  We burn glycogen when we exercise. It is usually the glycogen in our muscles but when we drink coffee, we begin to burn the fat instead of the glycogen. (our body stores glucose that is not needed for energy in the form of glycogen in our liver and skeletal muscles)

Having a cup of coffee before working out can increase our bodies fat burning for a couple of hours after the workout!

Its not just the caffeine in coffee that helps to burn fat.  Other compounds such as Chlorogenic acid slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream which means slower carbohydrate absorption.


Other benefits

Yes is the obvious answer to “Can you drink coffee before working out”? But there are other benefits that make it extra special to go ahead and drink that cup of Java.

Enjoying a cup of coffee has many health benefits other that helping your workout.

Coffee is one of the top antioxidants and actually has a multitude of health benefits.  A study of 50,00 women showed that those who drank caffeinated coffee had a 20% decrease in depression.

Long term coffee drinkers have been shown to have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Drinking coffee seems to significantly lower ones chances of developing diabetes. It’s the fully loaded kind though. Decaf doesn’t seem to have the same benefit.

Drinking caffeinated beverages including tea and other caffeinated beverages as well as coffee can lower the risk of Parkinson’s and gallbladder disease.

A large study by the National Institute of Health showed that coffee drinkers were less likely to die of diseases such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and stroke.  The benefits were the same in caffeinated and decaf coffee! Those who drank three or more cups a day seemed to have the most health benefits.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed finding out that you can drink coffee before working out and also reap other health benefits.

If you have any questions or comments please let me know by leaving them in the comments section below.


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This article has 14 Comments

  1. Hello Cynthiah
    I have never considered if l should drink my coffee before or after working out, l usually have my coffee in the mornings and my work outs is usually in the afternoon.
    Reading your post has made me think of things that never really occurred to me, like coffee helping increase focus.
    New to me is that coffee helps decrease muscle pain and will have to look more into that.
    Sure l have heard that having a cup of coffee before working out can increase our bodies fat burning for a couple of hours after the workout.But, how much is ok? should i just have a cup or more?
    Thanks for a very informative post, really enjoyed.

    1. Thanks for your comments roamy. I am glad I made you think about how good coffee is for you. For fat burning drink a cup about an hour before you work out. If you work out in the afternoon that should be a great pick me up as well.

  2. Wow there are tons of health benefits I see! I am only an occasional coffee drinker myself and I can never have it too strong because my stomach just can’t handle it, but I do drink a lot of tea. I see you mentioned tea briefly in your article. Is it possible to reap the same benefits with tea and working out as it is with coffee? Thanks!

    1. I agree Denise some people cant handle or just don’t like coffee. I think drinking tea before your workout would be Okay but probably not as effective as coffee. On average a cup of coffee has more caffeine than a cup of tea. However, tea is also very good for you also.

  3. Cynthia,

    I am so glad to hear that coffee can be so beneficial to your health because I absolutely love it! I drink anywhere from 3-4 cups a day. I usually feel pretty good and energized most of the day too. I was a little concerned that the caffeine was not so healthy for me but after reading your blog I feel much more confident. Especially with the proof in statistics and studies. Is there ever a situation where you can drink too much coffee?


    1. Hi Johathan,

      Thanks for reading about drinking coffee before your workout. I love coffee too. I am careful though not to drink it too late in the day and not to drink too much. Yes just like anything too much can be detrimental. I myself would not go over 3 or 4 cups in a day. Some can tolerate more and some less but overall coffee can be very good for you.

  4. I used to drink coffee before most of my workouts but I usually don’t anymore. I had a period of completely removing caffeine from my life and it wasn’t too fun. I always had great energy for my workouts when I used to drink it.
    Maybe I’ll get back into that 😉

  5. Hi Gina thanks for your comment. Yes coffee is good to drink for workouts and I do hope you can get back to it. Coffee can be a little hard to get off of because of the caffeine. Some are sensitive to too much caffeine. I really enjoy coffee but I am careful not to drink it too often. I usually only have one or two cups a day sometimes three but not any more than that. I do hope you can give it a try again as you mentioned you did have great energy when you drank it before your workouts.

  6. Hi Cynthia,
    This article is music to my ears! I am a two to three cup coffee drinker early in the morning and my energy level is always very high. But I do have a question for you. For several years I have been drinking “lite” coffee. It is supposed to be 50% less caffeine. So that puts it right in the middle of the real thing and decaf. Any thoughts on that? My friends and family simply do not understand “lite” coffee. 🙂

    I love your site and I feel like I am getting a home gym instructor, biology lessons, and a ton of information on how to stay healthy! Very nice site and I enjoy it very much.

    Lynn Drew

    1. Hi Lynn and thanks for your comment. The lite coffee you speak about is probably a darker roast. When you roast longer the coffee naturally has less caffeine. Is it a dark roast? If not I suspect it is going through somewhat of a decaffeinate process. Either way if you are happy with lite coffee and enjoying it I think its great! You didn’t mention how many cups you drink but with the lite coffee you can enjoy more.

      I am so glad you are enjoying my site. Please stop by often and let me know any questions or comments.

      Many Blessings

  7. Hey Cynthia, after reading your article I am absolutely trilled as I have been trying to watch my coffee intake and only drink two cups a day, looks like I need to add another cup each day for maximum benefit. I love the fact that it helps to burn fat during exercise and slows carbohydrate absorption as I really watch the amount of carbs that I eat. Does it work the same if you add cream or is the best way straight up black coffee?

    1. Hi Dena,
      Thanks for your comment. I also drink 2 cups of coffee each day. I work out in the am. However, I do add a cup if I do a particular hard class like Grit as it is later in the day. I drink mine with a little milk but black is better.
      Enjoy your coffee everyday!

  8. Hi Cynthia, I don’t drink coffee, but I get caffeine from Tea and Pepsi. I wouldn’t recommend drinking Pepsi before a workout, I try to reduce my soda intake. I usually try to replace with club soda and lime or lemon, I have considered adding caffeine tablets so I can avoid the sugar and still get a boost of energy, it is nice to see all these other benefits. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Tara,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I love my coffee but I know not everyone does. You say you like tea. Try a cup of green tea and chia tea mixed together. If you like it sweetened, use a little honey or stevia. This will give you the caffiene. If you try it, let me know how you like it.

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