It’s common knowledge that coffee makes for a great pick-me-up at various points in the day. But did you know that you can also drink it right before a workout? Pre-workout coffee is an increasingly popular trend in the fitness world. However, while some fitness fanatics swear by it, others are skeptical of its effectiveness and general health impact.

We’re here to tell you that coffee can be a great addition to your exercise routine if you know how to ingest it in moderation. Here’s how to correctly use coffee as a pre-workout beverage and what you need to know to do so successfully.

Why Drink Pre-Workout Coffee

There’s no denying that many fitness enthusiasts swear by a cup of coffee before hitting the gym, and this delightful drink’s energy-boosting effects are well documented. Here’s what you should know about the benefits of pre-workout coffee.

Increased Performance

Coffee (or more specifically, caffeine) can enhance physical performance by increasing adrenaline levels, which prepares your body for an intense workout. Even a single mug of coffee beforehand can promote improvements in muscular strength, endurance, and power output. This allows you to put more into your exercise and, therefore, get better results from your efforts.

Improved Fat-Burning Potential

Along with simply being healthier, many of us work out to burn fat. Well, coffee can help in this area too. Caffeine helps increase the rate at which your body breaks down fat, making it available for fuel during your workout. This increases your fat-burning potential, which helps you torch those pesky calories even faster.

Enhanced Focus and Mental Alertness

Additionally, the stimulating effects of coffee can help improve mental focus. While many of us fall into a comfortable daze when repeating the same movements, this isn’t the case when trying something new. For mixing up your workout, pay attention to your surroundings and your actions to maximize safety. This is especially beneficial when you’re trying to push yourself to lift heavier weights or run farther. Drinking a cup of coffee increases your mental awareness, improving overall workout quality.

The Risks of Too Much Pre-Workout Coffee

If you’re planning to make coffee a part of your regular workout routine, you should understand some of the drawbacks. Consuming too much coffee comes with a series of risks, regardless of what you’re using it for. So make sure you’re aware of the following downsides.

Jitters and Increased Anxiety

Too much caffeine can lead to jittery feelings, increased heart rate, and nervousness, making it difficult to remain focused during your workout. This could lead to a less effective session or potential injuries. Coffee jitters also contribute to painful symptoms like headaches and nausea, making it difficult to work out at all and interrupting your routine.

Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances

An extra cup of coffee might cost you some valuable rest. If you tend to work out later in the day, the caffeine boost you get from coffee can affect your ability to fall asleep that night. Overloading on caffeine could make it difficult for you to wind down, affecting your sleep quality and recovery time.


Though coffee comes with many benefits, you need to know that it’s also a diuretic and could lead to dehydration if you consume it in excess. Dehydration might impair your workout performance, hinder muscle recovery, and put unnecessary strain on your body. Make sure you limit your intake and drink water throughout the workout to maintain a healthy level of hydration.

The Importance of Proper Timing and Dose

Despite the potential risks, you can get a lot of good out of consuming coffee before workouts if you know how to do so in moderation. Many of the downsides come from ingesting too much, so you just need to determine the best quantity for your body. When you drink your coffee also plays a large role in learning how to correctly use coffee as a pre-workout. To fully maximize the benefits of pre-workout coffee, keep the following suggestions in mind.


Timing is vital when trying to make the most of your coffee’s effects. The optimal time to drink your pre-workout coffee is around 45 minutes to an hour before your workout. This allows time for the caffeine to take effect without leaving you jittery or unfocused.


You should also consider how much coffee you drink. Everyone’s tolerance to caffeine varies, and what might work for a friend might simply leave you with jitters. Because of this, you’ll want to experiment with caffeine quantities until you find a balance. A great starting point is 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. You can gradually adjust this amount based on how your body reacts to it. Remember to always listen to your body and consult a professional if you have any concerns.

The Best Pre-Workout Coffees

The type of coffee you drink can also have an impact on your workout routine. For instance, you won’t want anything with added sugars or creamers. The temperature of your brew can play a key role as well. Try one of the below types for the perfect pre-workout brew.

Cold Brew

Not only is cold brew less acidic than hot coffee, but it also offers a smoother taste and can pack a powerful caffeine punch. Cold brew is the result of steeping coffee grounds in cold water for around 24 hours. This process creates a slow extraction effect that results in a less bitter and more concentrated coffee perfect for pre-workout fuel.

Nitro Cold Brew

If you’re looking for an extra energy boost, nitro cold brew might be the way to go. This trendy beverage is similar to cold brew coffee, but it’s infused with nitrogen gas. This makes it much creamier in texture and slightly sweeter. The nitrogen infusion also amplifies the caffeine content, providing an even stronger kick to your workout routine. However, it’s more difficult to make this type at home, so it might not always be an option for you.

Black Coffee

If you prefer your coffee hot, a simple cup of black coffee is an excellent choice. Avoid adding sugar, cream, or other high-calorie ingredients, as they can negate the fat-burning benefits of your pre-workout coffee. Stick to a plain cup of Joe to reap the energizing rewards without the added calories.

Coffee can be a fantastic addition to your pre-workout routine, and 11th Street Coffee has just the brew for you. We carry a diverse collection of light-roast K-cups that offer the caffeine kick you need without sacrificing taste and quality. Don’t settle for just any coffee to help you get through your workout. Instead, make every sip matter and give yourself the fuel to achieve your fitness goals.

How To Correctly Use Coffee as a Pre-Workout
June 29, 2023 — Dalvin Warmack