Drinking Coffee Before Workout: Yay or Nay?

Workout drinks are all the rage and for good reason. They can help you power through a challenging workout or help you recover afterward. Coffee is another popular pre-workout drink, but is it the best option? But like anything else, there are pros and cons to drinking coffee before working out.

I know that when I’m getting ready for a workout, the last thing I want to do is start off on the wrong foot. But coffee can be a great pre-workout drink. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help you feel more energized and alert. Coffee can also help you burn more calories during your workout.

Unfortunately, coffee can also have some drawbacks. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can make you urinate more frequently. This can lead to dehydration, which is definitely not something you want when working out. Coffee can also cause an upset stomach in some people, so it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for something to sip on during your workout.

So, drinking coffee before a workout, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it? Let’s dive in and see if it’s the right choice for you.

Drinking Coffee Before Workout

When is the best time to drink coffee before a workout?

There’s no wrong time to drink coffee, but if you want to get the most out of your workout, try drinking it 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, that’s what sports nutrition experts recommend. Caffeine can delay fatigue and help you power through your routine with more strength and energy. 

Afternoon workouts after caffeine consumption have the highest efficacy of fat oxidation and burning fat [1]. The workouts in the morning with coffee had similar results to those without coffee in the afternoon.

Just be careful not to drink it too close to bedtime, or you may have trouble falling asleep. And for those who are extra sensitive to caffeine, it’s important to note that coffee’s stimulating effects can also increase anxiety levels. So find what works best for you and stick with it!

Drinking Coffee Before Workout

How much coffee should you drink before a workout?

Our research indicates that if you drink around 1–2 cups of black coffee (240–475 mL) 45–60 minutes before your workout. Too much coffee can cause side effects like nausea and an upset stomach. And if you’re sensitive to caffeine, even a small amount can have these effects.

If you’re new to working out with coffee, start with a small cup (about 8 oz or 240 mL) to see how your body reacts. You can always have more later if you need it.

Unlike pre-workout supplements, acute caffeine ingestion from coffee or caffeine supplementation has been shown to improve sports performance, with the most benefits seen at 60 minutes before exercise. Just never take supplements on an empty stomach.

Drinking Coffee Before Workout

How can coffee help you work out?

Coffee has a number of benefits that can help you power through your workout.

It can enhance your performance

Drinking coffee before a workout can actually help to improve your performance. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help to increase alertness and energy levels. It can also help to improve your focus and concentration, allowing you to stay on top of your game during your workout. 

In addition, caffeine has been shown to increase endurance and reduce perceived exertion, meaning that you can push yourself harder for longer. So if you’re looking for a little extra boost before your next workout, try drinking a cup of coffee!

It can boost your fat burning

If you’re looking to maximize your fat-burning potential, you might want to reach for a cup of coffee before your next workout. That’s right, coffee can actually help you burn more fat. Caffeine is a known fat-burner; it can help increase your metabolic rate and improve your exercise performance [2], especially during resistance exercise. 

In fact, studies have shown that caffeine can boost your fat-burning potential by up to 30%. So if you’re looking to get the most out of your workout, drink a cup of coffee at least 30 minutes beforehand. Just don’t overdo it – too much caffeine can lead to jitters and headaches. And remember, consistency is vital when it comes to fat burning and reducing body weight.

It can help you focus

We all know that focus is vital when it comes to working out. Whether you’re running on the treadmill or lifting weights, it’s essential to stay on pace and keep your mind in the game. And while plenty of supplements out there claim to help you stay focused, there’s one pre-workout booster that’s easily accessible and proven to work: caffeine. 

Coffee can be your new best friend when it comes to getting pumped up for a workout. Caffeine helps to improve focus and delay fatigue, meaning you can push yourself harder for longer. So next time you’re gearing up for a workout, make sure to grab a cup of coffee first. It just might give you the edge you need to reach your fitness goals.

It can reduce muscle pain

No one likes feeling sore after a workout. But did you know that coffee can actually help to reduce muscle pain? Caffeine is a known pain reliever that can help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation. In addition, caffeine has been shown to block the body’s perception of pain, meaning you can push through the pain and keep working out. 

So if you’re looking for a bit of relief after your next workout, try drinking a cup of coffee. It can help you feel better and stay on track with your fitness goals.

Drinking Coffee Before Workout

How could coffee hurt your workout?

While coffee has a number of benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

It could lead to dehydration

While coffee can be a great pre-workout drink, it’s important to remember that it is a diuretic. This means that it can lead to dehydration if you’re not careful. 

When you’re working out, you lose fluids through sweat and need to replenish them to avoid dehydration. But because coffee causes you to urinate more, it can contribute to dehydration if you’re not careful. So make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your workout if you’re planning on drinking coffee.

It could cause jitters

While a little caffeine can help improve your performance, too much can have the opposite effect. Caffeine is a stimulant; too much of it can lead to anxiety, jitters, and even headaches. 

So if you’re sensitive to caffeine, limit your caffeine intake before working out. And if you’re new to caffeinated drinks, start with just a small amount to see how your body reacts.

It could upset your stomach

Coffee might be the worst pre-workout drink for people with sensitive stomachs. It’s a potent diuretic that can lead to dehydration and diarrhea, not to mention it could irritate your already irritated intestines! 

If you are prone to stomach problems dealing with irregular bowel movements or cramps caused by too many pumpkin spice lattes, avoid drinking coffee before working out and see if that helps.

The caffeine crash could ruin your workout

Caffeine can temporarily boost energy, but it can also lead to a nasty crash later on. If you drink too much coffee before working out, you might find yourself feeling tired and sluggish halfway through your workout. This is called a caffeine crash, and it can be seriously detrimental to your training. 

Caffeine crashes can cause fatigue, headaches, and even nausea – all things that are sure to ruin your workout. So if you’re prone to crashing after caffeine, it might be best to avoid it before working out.

Final Thoughts

A pre-workout coffee can be great, but it’s important to remember that it has both pros and cons. Be sure to drink plenty of water, start with a small amount of caffeine if you’re new to it, and listen to your body to see how it reacts. And if you have any concerns, always speak with your doctor first.

There are other health benefits besides exercise metabolism boosts based on how much caffeine you drink.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get the same benefits from black tea?

No, you need coffee for the caffeine. Black tea has less caffeine than coffee.

Can I drink decaf coffee before a workout?

The low caffeine content in decaf coffees means they’re unlikely to have any impact on your metabolism.

Can I add milk or sugar to my pre-workout coffee?

Yes, but be aware that adding milk or sugar will also add calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to stick to black coffee.

Picture of About the Author Kris Silvey

About the Author Kris Silvey

As a semi-professional at-home barista and full-time software engineer, my love for coffee borders on obsession. By combining my passion for coffee with an engineering mindset, I strive to perfect my brewing process and share that knowledge with each of you.

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