What runners need to know about drinking coffee

Drink coffee and run on!

There is nothing like a morning coffee to get you going – it brightens your day and puts you in the right frame of mind to go about your business.

But when it comes down to the topic of running and coffee, and the effect caffeine has, there are differing opinions and statistics showing both the positive and negative relationships between the two.

Personally, I have only found that coffee, in moderation and consumed at the right times, has helped give me a kick before I go out for a run and improved my endurance levels overall.

Coffee is part of my running routine and a habit now.

Timing is important

A caffeine boost can put a pep in your step, but from experience, only drink coffee an hour or so before your run or general exercise – giving your drink the chance to have that desired effect.

Positive impact

We all lead busy lives nowadays and coffee can keep us active, especially when you’re on the move! The same logic applies to running. I will often drink a cup of coffee before I run and reap the benefits, such as increased alertness and willingness to run bigger and for longer.

Indeed, that extra mental stimulation makes you more aware and focused when you’re out running, which is incredibly important if you’re crossing roads or treading miles late in the winter dark!

happy coffee
There’s nothing like a good brew.

Don’t drink too much coffee

Resist the urge to over indulge and drink more than two cups a day (my recommendation) – otherwise it can have the opposite effect and you’ll feel drowsy.

Post-run, try to avoid coffee

…unless you are drinking a brand that combines carbohydrates and caffeine to help replenish your glycogen stores. Instead, go for a protein shake.

Does coffee dehydrate you? 

It’s a bit of a myth that coffee can have that impact before exercise. From my experience, I’ve never actually found it to be the case but you do want to try and hydrate with water at the same time.

Black or white coffee?

It just boils down to personal preference but having your coffee black will certainly prove that bit more stimulating, while soy milk is a healthier alternative than dairy.

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