T Nation

Preworkout Question (Coffee Related)


I used to drink Tall Red Eye or black eye from star bucks (depending on my mood and energy levels) prior to my workouts, but I recently stumbled upon John M. Berardi article about the dangers of consuming coffee/caffeine.

Basically he said

"So the final word on coffee and caffeine is this �?? stay the heck away from it! The only way to minimize the damage it causes may be to drink your coffee with a very low carbohydrate meal and eat only low carb meals for the next few hours after your coffee intake. I know, I know, it now sucks to be a coffee drinker! But giving up your java may bring you some great health and physique benefits"

What would I be able to take in place of coffee to get the same benefits? I used to take shock therapy but my body no longer reacts the way it did when I first started taking it, this might be because my body has built a tolerance to caffeine. Not really a fan of popping pills before a workout. Coffee was such a delicious drink but I don't want to sacrifice gains for taste.

Would appreciate if someone can enlighten me on this matter.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with caffeine/coffee before a workout. In fact, it may enhance your gains. I encourage you not to overanalyze coffee consumption. A good rule of thumb is to just not drink tons of coffee so you dont over fatigue your adrenal glands.


coffee is awesome. there seem to be more than a few benefits to it (improved muscular contraction, liver protection from alcohol, increased fatty acid utilization, euphoria, etc.)


I'm a fan of caffeine and I get mine from coffee with minimal sugar. I supplement my own arginine, etc. I kind of make my own pre-workout supplements with this.

I think that having severl sugar and fat laden caffeinated drinks throughout the day is definitely not a good thing. But monitoring your coffee/caffeien imo is not bad at all.



Would coffee be good prior to HIIT session?





why do people write down their name when they post? Its on the left next to your user Name.
(just wondering)



its called a signature it appears automatically


Have you ever experienced a likewarm Brown eye?


I find caffeine to be a great boost before a workout, and coffee does have health benefits like antioxidants.

On the flip side, coffee decreases insulin sensitivity so its not the best idea to have a lot assuming you're using PWO carbs. It also increases cortisol production, but lifting does that anyway.


That sums it up quite nicely.

Another point that comes to mind in addition to what has been said already: If you are going to make dietary changes, I'd concentrate on those that make the most of a difference. Ditching coffee would be pretty low on my list of priorities. In my opinion, most people consume food and drinks (sodas, fruit juice) that are far more of a problem than the occasional coffee and should concentrate on changing those habits first.


I think it was Poliquin who said it best, "it's like farting against a hurricane." 1 cup of coffee is negligible if you eat like shit. Only when you have everything else locked in will it matter, and even then the intensity boost you can get from caffeine is probably worth it anyway.


I love my iced americano every day with sugar free vanilla syrup and 33% heavy cream (anabolic diet) but if I have more than 1 per day I do notice I get more tired... adrenal fatigue perhaps... you should see the looks on the fat people's faces at the coffee shop when I ask for the heavy cream and pour it on.... keep ordering your 800 calorie frappucino's and make those man boobs grow...


So the jury take on coffee is that it does not hamper ones ability to put on quality muscle?


the point is there's a positive and negative

negative --> decreased insulin sensitivity --> decreased nutrient transfer to muscle cells

positive --> increases your intensity in workouts --> more damage --> more potential muscle growth


what about caffeine-free coffee? I like to drink that,because I dont feel good after drinking caffeine


Along with whats been said above. Caffeine/coffee is fine pre-workout, and may even improve your performance/endurance.

BUT at other times, especially with meals, it isn't ideal.

I think what Berardi was talking about in that article was how caffeine can reduce insulin sensitivity and increase the GI/insulin response to meal.(meals w/ C+F this would be a bad thing)

I personally avoid caffeine at all times other than pre-workout, unless really necessary.


The effects on insulin sensitivity are not simple, because people who drink coffee regularly have a lower incidence of Type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Furthermore, CT has stated that coffee improves insulin sensitivity.

For me, I have gone both ways and think I do better when drinking coffee.


Ah, the debate rages on.

Coffee's benefits actually have a lot to do with ones genetics.

People who are generally hyper-metabolic should stay away from coffee.

People who have a history of hyper-tension, diabetes or heart disease should definitely avoid coffee.

Theres my two cents right there.


last point is totally wrong

i have a family history of pretty much every single metabolic disease that exists: CHD, diabetes, you name it. However, my HDL is 67 (very high for a male) and my ldl is within normal range, i have normal FBG levels as well. It comes down to your overall individual lifestyle habits, not your 16oz cup of black coffee per day. Refer to the farting in the wind post. Just drink the damn coffee. As long as it's black with splenda. :stuck_out_tongue: