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Caffeine Before Workout: Friend or Foe?

September 16, 2013 2 min read

Tuesdays are pretty rough for me. Not only are they big work days, but I have an afternoon full of errands to run. By the time I can get to my 7 - 9 P.M. weightlifting/HIIT/martial arts training session, I'm totally exhausted and ready for a nap! Last week, I tried something new: I had a coffee around 6 PM. When I went to work out, I had tons of energy, and I actually made it through the 2-hour workout feeling great. w-Giant-Coffee-Cup75917 That got me thinking: Is it bad to have coffee before a workout?

Downsides to Coffee

We all know that coffee does have its downsides:
  • It raises your blood pressure
  • It affects your nervous system
  • It can cause acid reflux and digestion issues
  • It reduces blood flow
These are all things that make it on my list of foods to eat "only if I really need it". However, could caffeine before a workout actually be a good thing?

Pre-Workout Cuppa Joe

According to a Men's Fitness article, drinking some coffee can help to boost not just energy, but endurance as well. Seeing as HIIT is all about that endurance and stamina, some coffee may not be a bad thing!

2_28_11_SupremeCoffee7598

But how much should you drink?
  • Before your workout, have about 3 to 6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. (If you weigh 95 kilograms, that's 285 to 570 milligrams of caffeine)
  • During your workout, have about 1 to 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. (Same 95-kilo person drinks 95 to 190 milligrams of caffeine)
How many milligrams of caffeine is in a cup of coffee?
  • An 8 oz. cup of regular coffee contains between 95 and 200 mg of caffeine
  • A 1 oz. cup of espresso has between 40 and 75 mg of caffeine
  • A 16 oz. Starbucks Latte has 150 mg of caffeine
So, if you need that extra kick in your day to get you through that workout, it may not be a bad idea to have a little bit of coffee. However, stick to your limits, for your body's sake!

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