"Should I drink coffee before running?" is a typical question among runners.
It's indisputable that coffee, and particularly the caffeine it contains, can help you perform better. Athletes all around the world are aware of this, and hundreds of studies back it up.
Is coffee – or any sort of caffeine for that matter – actually good for you?
It's possible that consuming a cup of coffee before a run or race will help you perform better. Caffeine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements. In fact, according to one study, three out of every four Olympic competitors utilize caffeine to improve their performance, with endurance athletes being the most likely. 1
Caffeine is widely available and comes in a variety of forms. It has been thoroughly researched as a potential running aid, with promising results. In a 5K trial, for example, 15 well-trained runners and 15 recreational runners showed an average of 1% improvement in time when caffeine was eaten before the run.
As with any training supplement, it should be noted that there are some potential drawbacks to using caffeine.
Increased sensation when urinating. Caffeine is a mild diuretic and can increase both frequency and urgency of urination (does not cause dehydration), especially for new caffeine users. This can be a problem if you are walking in an area where toilets are not readily available. If used habitually, it will be ineffective.
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