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Should You Drink Coffee Before Working Out? Here's What Science Says.

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a medical doctor and the information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.


Young woman is preparing for a run and is tying her sneakers.

The most common pre-workout is caffeine. Also, the most popular pre-workout formulas have 100-200 mg caffeine in them.


Is caffeine used as a pre-workout even healthy?


It's not a simple yes or no answer. On one hand, moderate consumption of caffeinated coffee has been shown to not increase the risk of heart disease or cancer. In fact, coffee is packed with phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that can enhance overall health and wellness.


However, there are downsides to caffeine. High doses of caffeine can trigger anxiety or sleep issues for some people, and those with slow caffeine metabolism may have an increased risk of heart disease if they consume too much caffeine. Factors such as pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, and smoking can also affect how your body metabolizes caffeine.

Two women are doing box jumps in a gym similar to Crossfit.

So, should you be chugging a cup of coffee before working out? It depends on your individual circumstances. Factors like caffeine metabolism, menstrual cycle, and sleep are important to consider before incorporating caffeine into your routine. If you're a fast caffeine metabolizer and don't experience negative side effects, caffeine can be an excellent way to enhance your workout. However, if you're a slow caffeine metabolizer or experience anxiety or sleep issues, it may be best to skip the caffeine or consume it in moderation.


Speaking of metabolism, have you ever wondered if your genes play a role in how your body processes caffeine? Thanks to 23andme, I know that I have zero variants for the CYP1A2 and AHR genes, which means that I am likely a slow caffeine metabolizer. These genes are responsible for the production of enzymes that help break down the caffeine in my liver. Without these enzymes, caffeine stays in my body longer, leading to slower caffeine metabolism.


As a slow caffeine metabolizer, I may be more susceptible to negative side effects of caffeine, like an increased heart rate, jitters, and difficulty sleeping. But fear not, there are still ways to enjoy your caffeine fix without going overboard.


Ultimately, whether coffee or a pre-workout is good or bad for YOU depends on your individual circumstances. If you're using it as a crutch or experiencing negative side effects, it might be time to reduce your caffeine intake. Start by cutting back just a little at first and replacing some coffee with herbal tea or decaf.


In conclusion, caffeine can be a powerful tool for female athletes looking to improve their performance, but it's crucial to use caution and listen to your body's reactions. If you're considering adding caffeine to your routine, start small and gradually increase your intake while monitoring any negative effects. Remember, coffee can be a healthy addition to your diet, but moderation is key. So, go ahead and enjoy your caffeine fix, but drink responsibly!


A man is opening a coffee shop and he's chaning the sign in the window to say "Come In. We're Open."

 

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