A Cup of Coffee Before Your Workout: Good Idea or Not?

I love coffee.  I’m addicted to it and willingly admit it.  I do try to keep my addiction under control.  I have about two cups before I go to the gym, a cup on my way to work and iced coffee in the afternoon.

I drink it black except on the weekends when I add a little treat to my iced coffee such as pumpkin spice creamer, or yesterday it was caramel macchiato.  This is only on the weekends though.  I drink black flavored coffee laced with cinnamon over ice during the week.

Coffee Has Positives . . . . . Moderation Is Key

Coffee has been found to have some redeeming qualities and of course, since I love coffee, I naturally gravitate to those. Even the Mayo Clinic will agree that coffee is shown to protect again Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. And it has a high content of antioxidants.  Of course, Mayo Clinic warns that everything should be in moderation including coffee consumption.  Of course!

What About Before A Workout?

But what are the benefits of drinking it before a workout?  Since I’m an early morning exercise person I always have coffee before my workout.  When people hear that they are surprised but truly, without the coffee I probably wouldn’t even be there.

If you work out at 5:00 a.m. like I do it is a must, at least it is for me.  If you exercise later in the day it can be helpful too. The research does not clearly show that drinking coffee before a workout increases the amount of calories we burn or assist in decreasing fat stores.  These claims were made several years ago but are now considered to be unsubstantiated.

Java Helps My Mojo

What caffeine can do for you is give you that little extra kick you need to –

  • actually go to the gym, outdoors for a run, or do whatever your workout of choice might be, when your mojo and your motivation is low and you feel tempted to skip.
  • increase your stamina so that you don’t fatigue quite as early in the workout so ultimately to do burn more calories even if indirectly related to the java.

In other words, a couple cups of jo will help give us the extra push that we’re all looking for.

The amount of coffee consumed should be in proportion to your body weight.  According to a U.S. News and World Report article, “consume between 0.5 to 1.4 mg of caffeine per pound of body weight. Coffee holds about 20 mg of caffeine per ounce.”  It is considered safe to consume up to 300 mg a day.  And if you don’t typically drink coffee before a workout and want to try it, start out with a minimal amount so you can see how your body reacts to it rather than downing two cups and regretting it because of stomach upset or jitters.

Keep in mind that coffee is just one piece of the larger puzzle that includes good nutrition, plenty of water and proper training to get you to your fitness goals.


  1. You know I always wanted to ask you about drinking coffee before a workout, but I thought you would say no. I too love java!!!! I’m going to try a cup before working out!

  2. You’ll really be fired up now!!!