Is coffee before workout a good thing or a bad thing?
Many people have asked me this question over the years, and I've answered it many times through email and in person.
But I've never written a page about coffee before working out so…
I want to answer the question in detail so you understand coffee, its purpose, what it does, benefits of coffee, disadvantages of coffee, and more.
More Than 150 Million Coffee Drinkers in US Alone
Coffee is very popular throughout the world and especially in the United States as more than 150 million people drink coffee each day! That number alone is amazing to me since I am not a coffee drinker.
How many cups of coffee do you have per day? What do you put in your coffee? All of this matters. I would bet that most people are adding all types of things to their coffee such as sugar, cream, and more.
Why are most people drinking coffee?
– for health benefits
– for stimulation to stay awake
– for better concentration
– for increased fat loss
– for taste
– for social reasons
Most people that I know are drinking coffee for stimulation. Most people believe they “NEED” their coffee every morning and many continue drinking multiple cups of coffee throughout the day.
I hope that you aren't drinking coffee because you think you need the coffee. You shouldn't be addicted to anything, and there are hundreds of millions of people addicted to coffee throughout the world.
Saying we “NEED” coffee is being weak. You don't “NEED” it.
Since we're on the topic of coffee before workout, I'll focus in on working out and how you can use coffee to improve your weight lifting workouts.
How To Use Coffee Before Workout
I do recommend caffeine before your weight lifting workouts or some type of stimulant to give you more energy, increase focus, and help you lift heavier weights during your workout.
Keep in mind that heavier weight leads to faster results and a good stimulant ONLY before your weight lifting workout a few times per week can really help you.
Since coffee includes caffeine, I do recommend coffee before your weight lifting workouts.
But there's a catch…
Notice I said that I ONLY recommend coffee before your weight lifting workouts. I do not recommend coffee every day, and I do not recommend more than 1 cup of coffee before your weight lifting workout.
If you limit your consumption of coffee and all other sources of caffeine to only before your weightlifting workouts, you will reap the huge benefits of caffeine for your workouts.
If you're accustomed to drinking multiple cups of coffee each day and all day long, the effect coffee will have on your workouts will not be as great.
Save the coffee only for your weight lifting workout days, and you'll see how much caffeine can help you. You will be able to concentrate better during your workouts, and you will have a much higher energy level.
You will be more aggressive during your weight lifting workouts, and you'll lift heavier weight and do more reps. I've seen it over and over again. But please remember, have ZERO sources of caffeine at ALL other times throughout the week. Save the caffeine for pre-workout only.
Do You Really Know Anything About Coffee and Caffeine?
I typically like to know what I'm putting in my body before I do so. I don't care that hundreds of millions people drink coffee throughout the world. Just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn't mean it's okay.
Usually, it's the exact opposite. If everyone is doing it, it's normally wrong.
I wanted to take some time to tell you more about coffee and caffeine so you at least know what you're putting in your body.
Most people know that coffee comes from coffee beans BUT where do coffee beans come from? Coffee beans come from coffee plants which are cultivated in more than 70 countries throughout the world. Most of the countries that cultivate coffee plants are primarily in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The top 5 coffee producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia, and Ethiopia.
Arabica coffee comes from Latin America, Eastern Africa, Arabia, and Asia while Rubusta cofee comes mainly from Western and Central Africa and Southeast Asia.
You will be able to distinguish the differences in coffee taste, flavor, and aroma between the different origins.
Now that you know a little more about coffee and where it comes from, what about caffeine? Everyone knows caffeine is a stimulant and it gives you more energy BUT what else do you know about caffeine?
You need to know that caffeine acts as a natural pesticide for coffee plants. Caffeine is so strong that it paralyzes and kills insects that feed on the coffee plants.
Caffeine should be considered a drug and should be treated that way by you. You need to be careful not to consume too much caffeine and to only use it when it is needed most. And that's why I only recommend caffeine directly before a weight lifting workout. Minimize the amount as well. One cup of coffee is plenty.
Never have caffeine late in the day because it can keep you awake for hours.
This is another reason I highly recommend morning workouts.
How to Make Your Coffee Before Workout Healthier
Coffee does have high concentrations of antioxidants, chlorogenic acids, and phenolic nutrients so it's not all bad. Coffee in general is healthy but it does contain caffeine which needs to be limited.
You can get all of the health benefits from other foods and drinks that you get from coffee so its best not to rely on coffee for health benefits because of caffeine. Caffeine can become very addictive and can lead to very bad headaches and other side effects later down the road.
Here's how to keep the few cups of coffee per week healthier…
1. Avoid refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
I highly recommend drinking your coffee black, but if you MUST have a sweeter cup of coffee I highly recommend pure maple syrup BUT only a very small amount. You won't need much. You can also try some other alternatives to normal table sugar like coconut sugar.
Again, you should just drink it black as this is the healthiest version of coffee.
You don't need to stop at a fancy coffee shop to get your coffee. Save some money and make your own. There's no need to pay so much for a regular cup of coffee. And it's tough to sometimes know what you're getting at those shops.
2. Avoid artificial creamers
Most creamers that you're going to find will be made with so many unhealthy ingredients that you'll want to avoid.
You should instead find a much healthier version of full fat cream that comes from healthy grass-fed cows. You can bet that this will be much healthier than any creamer where you find tons of ingredients on the label.
Be sure to avoid any creamers that have corn syrup listed in the ingredients. Just as with coconut sugar, you can also find coconut cream which is much better but be sure there are no unhealthy additives in the ingredients list.
3. Add powerful herbs and spices to your coffee
If you're going to have coffee before workout, you should at least load it up with as many healthy ingredients as possible.
Organic cocoa powder is perfect with a cup of coffee. Add some cinnamon as well as any other spices you might want to try. You might find something that tastes really great and provides you with many health benefits.
I am a HUGE fan of herbs and spices as they are so powerful when it comes to health benefits. Add as many as you can to your pre-workout coffee.
4. Only drink coffee from organic coffee beans
Normal coffee beans are heavily treated with pesticides and other nasty substances that you don't want in your body. If you've ever wandered why cancer is so rampant, we should look to our food supply.
If you have ever had trouble losing fat in stubborn areas, it could be all the chemicals you're consuming with the foods you are eating and drinks you are drinking.
Be careful with all foods and drinks you put into your body but be especially careful with coffee.
Only use organic coffee beans!
5. Brew coffee using a paper filter
You can get rid of harmful substances in brewed coffee by using a paper filter.
Paper filters will remove diterpenes, but will let the good substances such as antioxidants and caffeine through into your now healthy coffee drink.
Always do whatever possible to get rid of any unhealthy substances from your food supply. Using a paper filter is just another example of doing the right thing.
Where to Get Healthy Coffee?
Finding healthy coffee might not be as hard as you think. There are some good sources of coffee around, but always be careful with your choices as you could possibly intake toxins.
If you do, your body will have to work even harder to get rid of those instead of focusing on other important things you need your body doing.
Organic Coffee on Amazon. You can read reviews for each brand of coffee and see what others think. Amazon is one of the best places to read reviews even if you don't plan on purchasing anything from there. Amazon will also accept any returns if purchased from them without any hassle.
Whole Foods Grocery Store. You can find some great organic coffee blends at Whole Foods. You can see if you have one in your area or you might already know. Prices seem a little high on some things at Whole Foods. I don't mind paying premium for good stuff, but sometimes the prices are ridiculous.
Good luck finding a great source of healthy coffee! If you have luck, please share. We're always looking for healthy foods and healthy drinks. If you've never tried coffee before a workout, give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Remember to start out with a small amount of coffee before a workout. And save that caffeine kick for before your workouts and don't have coffee every single day. You don't need it that often.