I read somewhere that a good strong coffee about an hour before a run can have positive effects. So, keen to give it a go, about a month ago before a 10k race I popped into a coffee shop nearby and downed a double espresso. As far as I can tell, it had no effect whatsoever!

I have another race coming up this Saturday, so I'd love to know if anyone out there has tried this and did it work for you? If so, what is the runners cup of choice?

Large Americano or Skinny. Mocha? A simple Espresso or is it best to go all in for the Festive Cinnamon and Toffee Nut Latte with sprinkles and whipped cream?

19 Replies

  • If I'm not feeling up for it then I'll have an espresso before I run and I find it helps. I would definitely stick with the espressos though, as I can't imagine any of the milky coffees would yeald good results!

  • I've heard of this too. Coffee before any work out is meant to help, though not sure how.

  • I always have coffee before I run - but it has nothing to do with the running, or whether it is good or bad for running . It is more that I am addicted to coffee like a cigarette smoker is to cigarettes :)

    However - as someone who is playing around with running with a Heart Rate monitor, I do wonder whether it unnecessarily and artificially increases heart rates. At my age , I don't have a lot of BPM to spare between walking and running flat out - so I need to conserve every beat of my heart that I can!! :)

  • Whether coffee works or not, I'd be a lot more happy if there was some proven link between running performance and the beer from that Micro brewery you reported!

  • I was reading an article in a running magazine at the weekend about caffeine and running and they basically recommended it (before and after). After reading this, I had a large coffee before my run last night and I had a really good run.. not saying this was connected, but I will try it again.

    Here's an article from tinternet that I found a good read:

  • A while ago I did a diet that advocated an espresso first thing then some form of interval training, running, swimming, cycling etc which ever you wanted, but nothing to eat. As a diet it worked, I lost a lot of weight in a short time but as a long term training plan I don't think it's such a good idea. These days I don't drink coffee but i do guzzle strong tea every morning and can't say if it makes any difference to my running.

  • Can't imagine running on a Festive latte with cream and managing to keep it down ! I'll have a caffé nero e bollente, grazie... [black and boiling hot}

  • I too always have a coffee for a number of reasons 1) firstly I can't function without a cup in the morning 2) I think it's helps, have run without it and can feel the benefits 3) I think I read somwhere can't be 100% sure it also helps to get things moving.

    My cup is a normal filter coffee with milk nothing fancy. Also very luckily has there is a great Colobian coffee shop which sells beans which I like.

  • Sounds great.

    "I'll have a Colombian filter and a sub-60 minute 10k to go please".

  • Ha ha , that made me laugh :- ) xxx

  • :)

  • I've heard that a strong cup of coffee before a run gets the bowels moving and then you can run on empty! Have not tried this as I'm a tea drinker. I like my tea like my men - strong, dark, no sweet stuff!

  • :)

  • I may be able to vouch for that one...ahem...*blush*

  • Caffeine is a proven performance enhancer, e.g. but if you're not a regular coffee drinker then you need to be aware of the possible side effects. For me, increased heart rate, anxiety and the shakes. That said, I occasionally drink a strong coffee a couple of hours before a parkrun-helps to clear the decks!

  • The trouble with a shot of coffee before a run is that, as well as the afore mentioned effects on the bowel, it's also a diuretic. So if you don't need to go one way, you may need to go the other, so to speak. On the plus side, there is a suggestion that it can act as a bronchodilator, so it may open up your lungs and allow you to take on board more oxygen. The trouble is, these effects may only be manifest in people who don't normally drink coffee and so haven't built up a tolerance to its effects.

  • A good strong coffee will certainly make you go faster, but it may not be in the running sense! It is a diuretic so you'll definitely want to 'go' and if it's very strong it will also make you (euphemism my wife's family used when she was a small child) go to the toilet properly!!

  • Ok, so I think I get the picture. I can definitely expect 'movement', but not necessarily speed.....

  • Oh, once the 'movement' starts you'll definitely get speed too!! ;)

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