If you’re looking to boost your gains at the gym, your secret weapon may already be sitting next to you. Yup - your cup of coffee is actually one of the most beneficial drinks for improving athletic performance and stimulating fat loss.
In fact, we dedicated an entire article to reviewing the top three benefits of caffeine consumption on fitness training. You can read more here.
But since we’ve established that your cup-of-joe gives you a leg-up at the gym, when should you drink it to get maximum results? Let’s explore the benefits of drinking coffee before or after a workout.
Coffee Before Working Out
For early risers who prefer working out in the A.M, coffee may already be a part of your morning routine. Not only does that energy boost make it easier to get out of bed, but it also improves your focus during workouts. Increased alertness at the gym can help boost your body's anaerobic output, reduce exhaustion and lower your chance of injury.
Caffeine is also a natural appetite suppressant - which can be beneficial in the morning if you have a short amount of time between waking up and working out. Quick carbs and sugars found in most energy bars or pre-workout drinks can actually decrease your muscle gain, so make sure to choose a coffee that’s made with natural + clean ingredients.
(Super Tip: One cup of BuzzFit protein coffee has 10g of added whey protein to keep you sustained throughout your entire workout.)
If you’re getting your brew on before the gym, be sure to finish your coffee 30-60 minutes before your workout for the best results.
Coffee After Working Out
Okay, so what if you don’t have time for coffee before heading to the gym, or if you prefer to save your workout for later in the day? While most studies have focused on the effects of caffeine consumption before workouts, there are some interesting benefits to drinking coffee after physical activity as well.
Coffee after a workout can potentially boost long term endurance. A 2008 study conducted with elite athletes found that consuming caffeine after high-endurance workouts increased glycogen levels and led to enhanced muscle gain. This helped athletes refuel more quickly and efficiently during periods of high-output.
If you're putting yourself through an intense gym routine before heading to work, you may find yourself dosing off by lunchtime. Having a cup of coffee after your workout can give you a much-needed energy boost and help you stay alert and focused throughout the rest of the day.
If you drink your coffee later in the morning or in the afternoon, be sure to cut-off caffeine consumption 6 hours before bed so-as not to disrupt sleep patterns.
Choose What’s Right For You
All-in-all, deciding whether to drink your cup of coffee before or after your workout really depends on your personal preference. As long as the coffee you’re sipping is naturally-sourced and low in sugar, you’ll still reap the benefits at the gym. In addition to drinking caffeine, it’s important to always drink enough water before, during and after you train.
*Always consult a doctor, nutritionist or trusted medical expert before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.