The Optimized Gentleman

Does Caffeine Help Build Muscle?


Beyond just the sudden mental alertness that caffeine gives us, this compound also has loads of benefits – specifically when it comes to our body’s muscle building process. With that being said, some benefits are less popular than others. Lucky for you, we’ll cover a fascinating topic, and spark an important question: does caffeine help build muscle?

Does Caffeine Help Build Muscle & Aid In Recovery?


In this dilemma among scientists – whether caffeine helps build muscle – most agree that it DOES. Caffeine definitely helps your body burn fat quicker, thus preserving glycogen stores. This leads to quicker muscle building. But there may be a more direct method by which caffeine works on muscles…

So let’s jump into some details! We’ll share with you caffeine’s effects on your muscles, and whether it’s beneficial for them or not. So, keep on reading to find out, Gent.


Caffeine’s Effect

Muscle growth

Caffeine decreases the production of myostatin.

Muscle recovery

Caffeine supplies muscles with more blood glucose.

In terms of muscle recovery, caffeine does have a noticeable effect.

To elaborate, your muscles need time after exercising, to produce glucose again after running out of fuel (primarily glycogen). As a result, you can’t exercise hard again for a few hours. Nevertheless, caffeine can help minimize this period and get you going again…

… but how?

To put it simply, caffeine supplies your muscles with more glucose from your blood. When using caffeine strategically, you can exercise again in a timeframe as short as four hours.

For best results, you should consume caffeine post-workout with some carbs. This is because caffeine improves carbohydrates uptake in blood, which means your body won’t depend on just proteins for energy.

As for muscle growth, studies show that caffeine can be credited for a decrease in myostatin. Myostatin is known to restrain muscle growth, so limiting its secretion can highly benefit bodybuilders.


In addition to those benefits, caffeine can improve your exercise in the following ways:

  • GIVE you a boost of energy,
  • REDUCE your fatigue,
  • CLEAR brain fog,
  • IMPROVE blood circulation,
  • INCREASE daily calorie expenditure, and
  • BOOST endurance performance

So to sum it up, caffeine does help in the building and recovering of muscles, but indirectly. It wouldn’t hurt to sip a delicious cup of coffee before or after your exercise.

Caffeine & Exercise Performance

There are many ways in which caffeine can affect your overall exercise performance. Here’s a brief about the most important inputs and their effects:

Improves Endurance Performance

Studies show that caffeine can improve endurance, if consumed in specific doses that range from three to six milligrams per kilogram of your bodyweight. In other words, 1.36 or 2.72 milligrams per pound of bodyweight, respectively.

As a result, endurance athletes have been adding caffeine in various doses to their diet. However, you’ve got to stick to the dose specified, to avoid adverse effects. Even though we take this drug for granted (because of its ubiquity) it’s still a potent one.

Also remember that genetic variations can affect this improvement. To elaborate, a change in your ‘caffeine metabolization genes’ may alter its effect on your endurance performance.

Improves High-Intensity Exercise for Trained Athletes

As weird as it sounds, caffeine actually benefits trained athletes in high-intensity sports, more than beginners. Although it doesn’t sound logical, it’s study-proven.  Again for best results, you can consume three to six milligrams per kg of your bodyweight before exercising.

Improves & Accelerates Fat Loss

If you’ve tried weight loss supplements before, you may have heard about the fact that most of them contain caffeine.

This is because caffeine helps to break down fats in your body; thereby maximizing your body’s heat production. This can lead to enhanced fat oxidation in obese and overweight people, which is excellent for those willing to exercise hard.

Not to mention, caffeine can slightly increase your calorie expenditure per day.

It’s also been scientifically proven that consuming caffeine before exercise can enhance fat burning during your workout. However, this doesn’t mean that caffeine can significantly improve weight loss, so use it moderately to avoid its negative effects.

The Negative Effects: What Does Caffeine Do to Muscles?

Because life isn’t all pretty in pink, caffeine won’t magically turn you into a bodybuilder. It’s also not going to pack on slabs of lean muscle by itself. Think of it more as an aid, that fits into a bigger picture of attaining your specific goals.

Although studies have proven that it benefits muscle building, it still has some adverse effects. For starters, if you’re a hard worker who depends on caffeine for both consistent performance and sanity, you may be significantly impacting your muscle health.

This is mainly because consuming caffeine in large amounts affects your body’s ability to absorb calcium. As a result, you’re more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease. In turn, this leads to an overall weakness in your muscles, and may lead to muscle twitching.

We’re not saying drink coffee = get a bone disease, but it could increase your risk.

In addition, since caffeine can adversely affect the heart, some doctors may advise that you stop your intake. Accordingly, you’ll go through caffeine withdrawal symptoms, which often include achy muscles.

Related Caffeine & Muscle Building Questions

Should I Drink Coffee Before or After Exercise?

This depends on your personal preference. For example, if you want to improve your muscle recovery, drink it after you finish your exercise. On the other hand, you should drink it before a workout to improve your performance and fat burning.

Is Coffee Bad for Muscle Recovery?

No, it isn’t. On the contrary, it may quicken your muscle recovery and reduce your muscle aches if you drink it before the workout. This is mainly because it supplies your muscles with more glucose from your blood stream.

Is Coffee Bad for Strength Training?

Not necessarily, but studies haven’t provided an accurate answer to this question. While the caffeine in your preferred beverage may improve your strength training performance, the exact mechanism is still unknown.

To Wrap Up The Discussion

Caffeine’s worldwide fame can be attributed to the boost of energy it gives us all. But, in addition to that, this sneaky compound has other equally essential benefits.

For one, it indirectly helps in muscle building, by reducing the production of myostatin in your body. Moreover, it decreases your muscle recovery time.

Now that you know enough about caffeine’s effect on muscles, you can regularly intake it in moderate doses! Use it as a tool to get ahead in your physique, muscle-building, and exercise goals… and never go overboard.


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