Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

What Is The Best Time For Caffeine Intake Before A Workout?

January 23, 2021


Caffeine is a well established stimulant enjoyed by many adults, in many forms, around the world each day. Users have known about its’ performance effects since the beginning with researchers confirming its’ performance benefits over the last century. It is one of the few well established performance enhancing drugs and was previously restricted and is still monitored by federal and international anti doping agencies. Researchers have previously established caffeine’s impact on the central nervous system and in turn athletic performance including improved endurance and muscle performance. A recent study discussed how the timing of caffeine ingestion impacts subsequent muscle performance.

Harty and colleagues reported on the optimal timing of caffeine ingestion prior to exercise (Front Nutr. 2020). Authors studied a group of healthy women and men with significant experience in caffeine use and weight training. Each participant was provided either caffeine or a placebo prior exercise. Caffeine or placebo ingestion was provided either 2 hours, 1 hour, or 30 minutes before an exercise session. Participants were then tested on isometric multi and single joint strength, as well as, jumping performance. Consistent with prior research, caffeine had significant improvements in athletic performance when compared to the placebo. The timing of the caffeine ingestion also played a significant role in outcomes with the greatest impacts found at 1 hour before exercise. Surprisingly, caffeine effects were greater in males than females.

As with any drug, readers are advised to speak with their physician before utllizing caffeine.