The Optimized Gentleman

Should I Drink Coffee After a Workout?


Coffee gives you energy – that you may use to start your day, beat your last workout, or run a bit longer or faster. This is why sports drinks are strong in caffeine; to keep you going. But deciding when to consume caffeine, is just as important as deciding how much. This article covers whether you should drink coffee before or after a workout, and exactly why.

Let’s get it!

Should I Drink Coffee After A Workout?


So, is drinking coffee post-workout beneficial? We’d say YES; it can be good to consume coffee before and after working out. Your body requires an energy and cognition boost after expending effort. Athletes consume caffeine to improve performance in the gym, push further, and reduce pain tolerance.

But if you’re still unsure whether it’s good to sip some coffee following a workout (or even wondering if you should drink coffee before a workout) then keep reading to uncover the answer.

Is It Safe to Drink Coffee After Exercise?

After an exercise, a glass of iced tea or water is a great thirst quencher. On the other hand, sipping a caffeinated beverage after a strenuous, heavy workout may provide some unexpected benefits.

So, yes, it’s OK to have some caffeine intake following an exercise. In fact, it’s not just OK; your body will actually benefit from this coffee intake. Let’s take a look at how:

Coffee Upsurges Your Calorie Burn

Coffee increases your resting metabolic rate (or RMR) which promotes calorie burning. Of course you burn calories while you exercise, but you can also burn calories when you’re at rest – and coffee aids in this process.

Those who are obese or who work out fewer hours typically have a lower RMR. So, the greater your metabolic rate, the easier it is to burn calories and shed weight or build lean muscle.

Coffee Helps Mobilize Fats

Coffee contains caffeine (duh), which stimulates your neurological system and boosts the hormone adrenaline in your blood. Adrenaline delivers direct signals to fat cells, forcing them to break down fat. This breakdown is especially beneficial after an exercise.

Coffee Replenishes Glycogen

Coffee helps in the recovery of muscles after a workout, with rapid re-filling of your glycogen stores.

Glycogen, the primary fuel source for your muscles, can replenish faster when you ingest carbs combined with caffeine. This aids in quicker muscle recovery and is ideal for sports and fitness guys.

Coffee Eases Muscle Pain

If you experience constant muscle pain and soreness after your workout, coffee could help dull the agony. Drinking coffee 24 to 48 hours after an exercise reduces muscle pain by half, as caffeine acts as a muscle relaxant.

It’s because caffeine is an adenosine receptor antagonist, which means it helps to suppress pain perception.

Coffee Helps Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation in the body triggers the pain you feel during an exercise. This is an important mechanism that allows your body to adapt and improve after finishing the workout. 

Coffee’s natural antioxidants help your body recuperate, by eliminating some of the inflammation that occurs after exercising.


So, Which Is Better… Coffee Before or After Working Out?

Should you have a cup of coffee before you start your workout… or wait till the end?

Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to drink coffee before a morning workout. It can improve your exercise routine, help you push harder, wake you up, block adenosine, and reduce pain tolerance.

This is because caffeine boosts your metabolism, improves microcirculation, reduces the effect of perceived exertion, and improves athletic performance when consumed before an exercise.

As we discussed, consuming it after your exercise is beneficial as well. So, both before or after is healthy for your body; it’s your choice!

However, when it comes to coffee after training, timing is everything. For example, if your workout is at night, consuming caffeine close to bedtime can cause your natural sleep cycle to get disrupted.

Is It Good to Drink Coffee After Running?

You might enjoy finishing your run with a well-earned cup of coffee… but is it good for you? We’d say typically, yes. As we mentioned before, caffeine combined with carbs may assist in refilling depleted glycogen levels. This in turn will help your muscle recovery in the same way a quick nap would.

Also, you’ll benefit from the other benefits coffee has to offer, such as a lower risk of various chronic diseases. Plus, it’s high in magnesium and vitamin B2. It will also help you feel more attentive for the rest of the day, especially after a long run.

Green coffee is also renowned as a weight-loss supplement when consumed after a run.

However, don’t forget to stay hydrated if you’re planning to drink coffee after your run. So, if you have an espresso drink, you’ll probably need to drink even more water than usual.

Related Questions & Summary

Is It Bad to Drink Coffee After Working Out?

No. Coffee is an excellent post-workout beverage. It boosts your body’s metabolism while increasing your energy and helping your muscles recover faster.

Can I Drink Milk Coffee After a Workout?

Yes, you can drink milk coffee after a workout. Consuming milk, such as dairy, oat, or almond, with coffee won’t disturb the absorption of coffee. So, don’t worry; you’ll still gain the advantages!

Processing, source, and type matters, though. There’s a whole methodology to choosing milk that’s still healthy for you, but that’s a topic for another day. 

How Much Caffeine Should I Take Post-Workout?

Current research suggests that using higher doses of 8 mg per kg of bodyweight (17.6 mg/lb) is most beneficial. However, do this during the day, so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep, as it releases more cortisol.

Final Word On Caffeine & Workout Timing

In sum, it appears that coffee is quite beneficial to your overall health, and can be consumed before or after an exercise – at any time of day, really.

As coffee plays an important role in increasing your metabolic rate and burning fats, you should watch what you put in your coffee. Too much sugar or sweet syrups may replace the calories you burnt, and have unnecessary side effects and drawbacks.

Also, it’s worth mentioning not to consume too much coffee, to avoid a high caffeine tolerance. So, keep your intake to one or two cups at a time, generally sticking within 500 mg or less per day.


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