T Nation

Coffee Before 1RM Attempt?


#1

Can drinking coffee 30 minutes before performing 1RM for a PR boost performance?
Will doing this every day allow for greater strength gain over a large period of time?


#2

Yes. Coffee is about the most studied ergogenic aid there is.

Don’t become reliant on it. That’s the downside to stuff like this; getting to where you’re too scared to try anything gnarly without it.

Used tactically it’s a badass.


#3

Yes. Like Yogi said, caffeine is a legitimate and verified performance booster.

No. Consistent use will attenuate the effects and you won’t get the full benefit.


#4

Do you think I will gain more strength then without it? Im scared about becoming dependent on it and not being able to do the same weight and reps once I dont use it.


#5

Will using it once be like cheating? I want to do this for my personal unofficial PR. I understand using it for comps is beneficial, but I dont know if I should use it for unofficial lifts.


#6

dude you’re 16 years old. don’t start using coffee, or any other stimulant every day. It’s a recipe for disaster, I can promise you’ll regret it.


#7

uhhhh… what?


#8

Dawg, I can’t live life without coffee. If I don’t at least have a doubleshot of espresso by the afternoon, I get a headache so painful that I puke. Once I get that headache, its too late and my only options are gas station coffee.

Personally, I always drink coffee before training, but that’s just my regular coffee consumption. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking it, but just dont build a habit like I did, and def dont develop an expensive taste for coffee.

I’d recommend gas station or instant coffee for gym if you’re worried about habit forming - because that shit is nasty.


#9

Dude there’s no reason to be scared of it, just keep it for when you’re trying something scary or days when you’re really dragging ass.

Although, if you have a lot of days where you’re dragging ass you’re better to address that rather than just use a bunch of stims…


#10

I feel good in the gym without stimulants like caffeine, but was wondering if it would provide more gains in the long run.


#11

I hear what you’re saying. The downside is far greater than the upside.


#12

No caffeine then. I got guys I train with that take pre-workout and claim it makes them train much better. I tried it and did not feel any different.


#13

Save the caffeine for college :lol:


#14

@vvfoo I drank 3 cups a day for years. Got a nasty headache without it :sweat_smile:. Don’t be me. It’s not preworkout. You’re fine if you use it occasionally.


#15

I wouldn’t be too afraid of coffee. Once you get older coffee is a great social lubricant.

Or so I’m told, all my girlfriend’s have just told me it feels gritty and leaves stains on the sheets. I also find it uncomfortable.

I guess what I’m saying is coffee doesn’t make any more sense once you’re older.


#16

What do you see as such a big downside? I’m not advising this kid to take caffeine, but as long as you still eat and sleep and aren’t actually dependent on caffeine then it’s not a big deal if it’s used in moderation.

For the record, for actual performance-enhancing benefits you are supposed to take 3-6g per kg of bodyweight 30-60 minutes before training. The thing is, that is a lot of caffeine so if you aren’t used to it you are more likely to feel like shit if you take that much one time. Less than that hasn’t been proven to improve strength, it might make you get through your workout faster or keep you moving when you are tired but it won’t make any real difference on you 1rm.


#17

It’s the only thing worse than sand.


#18

first off, I’m pretty sure you meant mg, not 3-6 g of caffeine… lol

but to answer your question: caffeine dependence at 16. It’s a risk, not a certainty obviously, it’s just not something I’d recommend at his age. I think the conscious decision to drink coffee before every training session is more likely than not to end in caffeine dependence, and I don’t believe that’s a good thing for a developing body.

fwiw, I consume way too much caffeine, and I know how hard it is to stop.

I’m not suggesting there’s a real downside as far as performance in the gym is concerned.


#19

Yes, that would probably be a heart attack otherwise.

Like I said, I’m not recommending caffeine, but if he did drink a coffee before every workout and not outside of that it probably would cause zero harm. Once you barely sleep at night and need caffeine to function then its a totally different story. At the same time, there isn’t much of a benefit to a small amount of caffeine anyway so might as well not get into it.

For the record, I take caffeine before training (pills, because preworkouts are a waste of money and coffee give me heartburn if I lift right after) and usually have a cup or two of coffee on non-training days, but I don’t really see it as a problem and I usually sleep well too. If suddenly I was totally cut off from caffeine in all forms it wouldn’t be a huge deal.


#20

agree.

There have probably been less than 10 days over the past 3-4 years I haven’t had brain candy as soon as I wake up. lol