T Nation

Coffee - Good or Bad?

Hi CT,
Quick question on coffee. I am a 2A type and enjoy an expresso shot before a workout using freshly blended beans from Colombia.

Is this good or bad? In terms of experience, Ive gone weeks without coffee and weeks with coffee and training performance did not change, the only difference was you do feel little bit more alert when consumed coffee pre workout.

Although I do enjoy coffee, it doesn’t faze me if I have it or not in my weekly schedule (I’m not addicted to it).

So, as a 2A and from my experiences, what do you recommend is appropriate in terms of intake of coffee? For example:

  1. Everyday
  2. 2-3 times a week on my heavy lifting days
  3. Don’t consume at all

Also if appropriate, is it beneficial to have expresso shot pre fasted cardio 30 min walk in the morning?

Thanks for the help,
Mike P

As a fellow 2A and coffee user… Coffee amps up your sympathetic nervous system partially through the adrenergic receptors. I think all is good as long as you are able to clear the adrenaline from the receptors. I even drink coffee intra-session, but the important thing is to calm the nervous system down right after training.

Good ways to keep those receptors fresh is to have some carbs post workout and perhaps an off-day from training and/or coffee. The tricky thing is that coffee amps you up to a degree at which you feel supercharged all the time, but this can give a huge drawback is my experience.

I see no problem with 1-2 cups of coffee per day. You might want to take 2 days off per week, but at that level of intake it is likely not necessary.

Thanks guys for the responses.

I take MCT oil pre workout with Maltodextrin & have L-Glycine and Magnesium post workout to help bring me down.

I ask the original question because CT, I watched your video on stimulants which got me questioning/worried about my coffee intake.

Is there a difference between freshly grind/brewed coffee (ok?) vs sports supplement pre workout stimulants (bad?) in relation to your stimulant video? How much caffeine is ok per day, if at all?

Thanks again for the help,
Mike P

Little tip here that helped me (I used to drink 2-4 cups of coffee during day then take preworkout), now avg 2-4 cups coffee only. Much better sleep / less anxiety etc.

Try using the coffee as the pre/perworkout…so 2 cups of coffee in blender with lots of ice, some pink salt, cocoa powder, and 1-2 scoops whey protein. Baking soda optional too…

Really nice to sip and then start working out (“fasted” training)

Do you eat before this or is this first meal AND preworkout?

Oh no it’s fasted “training” (i go around lunch time). So usually between 3-6 hours “fasted” at this point

I’ll have to try this. I am also 2A.

I’ve been eating 2 hrs pre workout (fatty meat and veggie). Then I sip coffee during the first half of training and then switch to a BCAA + maltodextrin mix. Carbs then start to flood the rest of my day.

On my off days, I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting. If I have a coffee first thing in the AM, I’m good to fast until about 3-4PM and I feel great!

Perhaps starting the workout completely fasted, with your coffee concoction, and then switching to the bcaa/malto mix would be a great option.

Yes for me it was always the clarity of mind/euphoria that came within the fasting period (accentuated by coffee). The trick for me was to do 1-2 cups upon waking, then a 1 cup decaf “bridge” up until the workout (3-6 hours upon waking).

In a perfect world doing some meat/veggies & fruit as meal 1 or 2…then a light stim and training might produce better gains?

However once food touches my stomach I’m out…just lack aggression. If i take a nap after the meal then it can come back but there’s something about fasted training that just works physiologically (plazma / bcaas / cocoa protein coffee concotion pre/peri)

I’m going to try both ways.

Everything works for me but nothing works long term. I always wondered why and the neurotyping made sense of everything.

For hypertrophy oriented training, carbs before hand are clutch for me. I’m interested to try your approach for Intensification.

How so? Carbs before certain types of training is most certainly warranted for some people that don’t lose their motivation to train as a consequence

I don’t understand your question. Clutch is slang for “important” in the US.

Are you asking how carbs can be important for someone before training?

I think I perceived more as being described as a “crutch”. Maybe I read it wrong or believed them to be synonymous. Not sure