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Coffee Before or After Workout? Caf-fitness Tips

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jan 20, 2022

Coffee Before or After Workout? Caf-fitness Tips

Lately, more people are getting into their fitness, either for New Year’s resolutions or to improve their overall health. Many of us like to wake up and drink a cup of coffee with our breakfast, while others go for a morning jog. If you are the type of person who does both, you may be wondering if you should drink coffee before or after workouts. We’re here to give you the answer.

Drinking coffee before exercise

We are all familiar with coffee and its caffeine content. Caffeine is a substance found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks that stimulates the mind and body. There are about 100 mg of caffeine in one mug of coffee. Caffeine can reduce fatigue, improve mental clarity, and increase your calorie burning potential.

For these reasons, caffeine is often used in pre-workout supplements. The caffeine content in these supplements are often extremely high (150 mg to 300 mg per serving). Therefore, they are not recommended for people who are sensitive to caffeine or have underlying health conditions.

Generally, it is safe to consume 3 to 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight before exercise. For a 50 kg woman, this is about 150 to 300 mg of caffeine or 1.5 to 3 cups of brewed coffee. Coffee should be consumed 1 hour before activity.

Adding a bit of sugar and milk to your coffee is better than drinking it black, as the sugar and milk provide additional fuel for your workout.

coffee before or after workout

Drinking coffee after exercise

After a good workout, most people feel energized—with or without caffeine. However, this doesn’t last the whole day. Some people may feel tired or fatigued after a hard workout. This is particularly true if you do heavy weight training or long-distance running.

A solution to this: a cup of coffee! Drinking some coffee after a workout can boost your metabolism and continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished exercising. After a workout, you can have coffee with more sugar and milk to refuel your body. Don’t forget to eat enough protein after your workout to promote muscle growth and repair.

Unfortunately, coffee won’t be the solution every time. If you find yourself regularly tired after working out, you may need more rest at night or a better diet. In these cases, coffee will only be a temporary fix. At times, coffee might not wake you up as well as it used to due to caffeine tolerance. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns with your energy levels.

coffee before or after workout

Can I drink coffee before and after workouts?

Because coffee provides many performance-enhancing benefits, yes, it is possible to drink it before and after workouts. However, you should always keep track of how much caffeine you consume. Be cautious if you consume supplements or other drinks that contain caffeine, such as pre-workout smoothies or tea.

Limit yourself to 300 to 400 mg of caffeine per day. For teenagers, caffeine intake should be restricted to less than 100 mg per day.

Key takeaways

In summary, drinking coffee before or after a workout can help you push harder and last longer. If you are limiting your caffeine intake, stick to coffee before your workout to help you burn more calories and work up a sweat. As a reminder, always drink enough water, especially while working out. Consult your doctor or dietitian if you decide to increase your caffeine intake.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Jan 20, 2022

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