I can talk about coffee allll day long – really, come to the studio and try me. Let’s wax poetic about a syrupy Sumatra or a bright Costa Rican bean! But does that supremely caffeinated goodness have a role in your workouts? Absolutely!
Coffee as a Pre-Workout Supplement
A “pre-workout” supplement is taken to boost performance – but most of these supplements are just caffeine, which may help you work out harder or longer if you need a little energy boost to get going. Why not go to the source and get that same caffeine from a cup of coffee, instead of having a chemically extracted version?
Drinking coffee before your workout comes with more benefits than just an energy boost. Caffeine may help you lift heavier, burn more fat in the first 15 minutes of your workout (provided that your workout is focused on endurance and keeps your heart rate up consistently over a moderate period of time – this is an endurance benefit, not a weight loss one, sorry), and extend the time you’re able to keep going during your workout.
Do It Right
In order to get the full fitness benefit from your coffee, keep the following in mind:
First, all of these studies were done on black coffee. If you’re drinking something like a Caramel Frappuccino (66g of sugar in a grande – about 3 days’ worth of the recommended maximum amount of added sugar in just one cup) and calling it coffee, know that this article isn’t speaking to you.
Second, drink your coffee before, not during your workout. Most of the subjects in these studies consumed coffee an hour before they worked out.
Remember, Coffee is Optional
Let’s be real: most of us do not need a pre-workout supplement to power through our workouts. A good night’s rest, adequate hydration, and a relatively balanced diet will provide the energy you need to sashay through a Zumba class or lift weights for 30 minutes. If you’re working out at night, you almost definitely want to skip coffee so that you’ll be able to sleep, and if you don’t like coffee at all, you’re not missing out! However, if you’re already a coffee fan, its workout-enhancing benefits are just another reason to love this magic bean.