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Benefits of Caffeine for Runners

Runners and athletes often wonder if caffeine can provide a performance boost. If our body can tolerate caffeine, then consuming it before a run or during a long-distance run can have several energy and performance benefits as well as health benefits. Caffeine is a natural substance that is found in seeds, leaves, and nuts of different plants, such as coffee beans and tea leaves.

Drinking a nice coffee without cream or sugar will increase the benefits, it contains polyphenols which are antioxidants. These antioxidants have several health properties that can help us protect against:

  • Inflammation

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • High-blood sugar

Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee (without sugar or cream)

  • Energy Boost- Increases alertness, reaction time, and vigilance.

  • Improves Brain Function- More brain power, attention, memory and improves sleepiness.

  • Helps Burn Fat- Increases metabolic rate, energy expenditure, and lipid oxidation (fat breakdown).

  • Helps Physical Performance- Consuming coffee pre-training helps to increase aerobic performance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, power, jumping performance, and exercise speed.

  • Provides Essential Nutrients- A cup coffee of 250ml contains magnesium and phosphorus- 7.2mg, potassium- 118mg, and calcium- 4.8mg.

  • Helps Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – Increases the energy expenditure (reduces the risk of overweight), anti-inflammatory and antioxidants.

  • Helps Protect Against Alzheimer or Dementia- Prevents cognitive decline.

  • Lowers the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease- Also reduces tremor symptoms.

  • Helps Protect the Liver- Reduces the risk of hepatic fibrosis (scar tissue on the liver).

  • Helps Fight Depression- Boosts our mood.

  • Lower the Risks of Cancer- Decreases the risk of colorectal, liver, breast, head and neck cancer.

  • Helps with Heart Health- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  • Increases Life Longevity- Powerful antioxidants resource.

Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up the signals sent from our brain to our body. It speeds up our nerve cells which increases activity signals to our body to produce adrenaline. More adrenaline gives us a good energy boost, our heart beats faster, our airway opens up, the blood flow to our muscles increases, the liver releases sugar to the blood stream, which activates our muscles.


Consuming caffeine before a run helps us boost our performance both in high-intensity training or long-distance run.

Coffee Consumption Before a Run for Super Benefits

1. Drink coffee 30-45 minutes before the run or training session with a pre-run fueling snack

2. Drink 150ml (45kg bodyweight or more)-250ml (75kg or more) of coffee according to your bodyweight.

3. Don’t overdrink too much caffeine, it won’t help increase the performance than the recommended consumption.

4. Drink the amount your body can tolerate- Some runners can tolerate higher quantity than others, listen to your body.

5. Coffee doesn’t cause dehydration, but make sure you consume electrolytes for longer or more intense runs.

6. Drink coffee pre-run to help with recovery by reducing inflammation.

Before a race, especially a long-distance race, to reduce the caffeine consumption the week before the race will help increase the performance level on race day. The lower quantity of caffeine the week before the race, will produce a bigger energy boost with caffeine intake on race day. The safest option appears to be reducing, but not totally eliminating your caffeine intake the week leading up to race day. Before a race, caffeine tapering (light reduction), will be as efficient as overall tapering.

Drink Coffee or Caffeine, Feel Energetic and Strong, Enjoy a Great Run!


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