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4 Ways Coffee Improves Exercise

4 Ways Coffee Improves Exercise

Whether you’re a hardcore marathon runner, a dedicated crossfitter, or a busy mom doing yoga, we’ve got some news for you: coffee improves exercise. Don’t believe me? Keep reading to learn how that daily cup gives you some extra fuel for your daily regimen.

1. Coffee Improves Exercise Through Increased Aerobic Capacity

We’ve all huffed and puffed our way through a workout. It’s just something that comes with the gig. But studies have linked caffeine intake with improved aerobic(high reps low- weight) performance.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, drinking a cup of coffee an hour before you workout boosts your capacity, endurance, and makes you feel less tired at the end of your workout.1

More specifically, the study found that if you consume 3mg of caffeine for every 1kg of weight 1 hour before will increase your endurance performance and capacity. If you consume 4mg of caffeine for every 1kg of weight one hour before exercise your workout will seem easier.2 We could all use a little help there, right?

So how many milligrams of caffeine are in one cup of coffee? Well, approximately 90 milligrams of caffeine per 12oz cup of coffee.3 Considering most of us drink anywhere between 12 -16 ounces of coffee per day, that’s plenty of caffeine to help improve your workout with organic coffee.

Whether it’s running, rowing, or biking, a higher aerobic capacity will be a great help in meeting new goals and feeling accomplished at the end of your workout. Improved Aerobic capacity is one way coffee improves exercise.

2. Coffee Improves Exercise Through Faster Muscle Recovery

We all know that feeling that comes the day after a workout. Every movement hurts, rolling out of bed and getting dressed takes way more effort than it should. Aches are felt in places that you didn’t even know could be sore.

Studies have shown that having caffeine in your system during a workout can aid in muscle recovery. Why? Because Glycogen (the stuff that fuels your muscles) is rebuilt faster when you have caffeine in your system. In fact athletes who ingested caffeine with carbohydrates had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing an intense workout.4 By ingesting caffeine, you’re giving your muscles the fuel they need to recover faster.

If you want to ease those next-day aches and pains, make sure you enjoy a cup of coffee before hitting the trail or the gym.

3. Coffee Improves Exercise Through Reduced Muscle Pain

Not only does caffeine help with the recovery process, it can also ease muscle pain. We know that feeling the burn is always a part of every workout, but you can make it burn a little less by downing some coffee before you get started.

In the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, it was reported a significant decrease on muscle pain during 30 minutes of high-intensity cycling due to the effects of caffeine. This study found caffeine ingestion (5 mg/kg body weight) statistically significantly reduced the reported intensity of muscle pain.5

Try it out next time you’re heading to the gym – You might surprise yourself and be able to work harder than you usually do!

4. Coffee Improves Exercise Through Better Performance

Looking for a little extra boost? Coffee can help with that, too.

In another report from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism researchers studied the effect of caffeine (3.7 mg/kg body weight) in addition to a carbohydrate-electrolyte supplement in a simulated soccer performance and found that the caffeine group better maintained, and improved, short distance sprinting and jumping performances, compared to the no-caffeine group.6

Grab a cup of coffee before your next soccer game and you won’t regret it! But make sure it’s organic, shade-grown and fairly traded to ensure you’re getting a healthy amount of caffeine. Too much caffeine can lead to jitters but with Camano Island Coffee you never have to worry about that. All of our coffees are shade-grown and sourced from arabica beans which means they have much less acidity and half the caffeine content of other coffees.

So make sure to brew up a cup of organic, shade grown, and Top 1% arabica so you can take advantage of the ways coffee improves exercise.


1.EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to caffeine and increase in physical performance during short-term high-intensity exercise (ID 737, 1486, 1489), increase in endurance performance (ID 737, 1486), increase in endurance capacity (ID 1488) and reduction in the rated perceived exertion/effort during exercise (ID 1488, 1490) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal;9(4):2053 [24 pp.].doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2053

2. IBID.

3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Coffee, Brewed From Grounds, Prepared with Tap Water


5. Gliottoni R.C. et al. (2009) Effect of Caffeine on Quadricep Pain During Acute Cycling Exercises in Low Versus High Caffeine Consumers. Intern. J. Sport Nutrition Exercise Metabolism, 19, 150-161.

6. Gant N. et al. (2010) The Influence of Caffeine and Carbohydrate Coingestion on Simulated Soccer Performance. Intern. J. Sport Nutrition Exercise Metabolism, 20, 191-197.

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