Introducing the Best Coffee For Pre-Workout Fueling

Want to know the best coffee for pre-workout routines? This article explores what to look for and some of the best coffee selections.

Caucasian woman drinking cup of coffee before running - best coffee for pre-workout
Some types of coffee are good to consume before your workout

Several studies have found that drinking coffee before your workout can boost your athletic performance, helping you lift more, run faster, and work out for longer before you get tired. But not every coffee provides the same level of benefit.

So while the benefits of caffeine will come through no matter what coffee you choose, there are better and worse coffees to choose to make the most out of your pre-workout caffeine buzz.

So what’s the best coffee for pre-workout? Read on to find out.

Pre-workout Coffee: The Benefits

Getting a caffeine buzz before you exercise can provide some key benefits. Scientists have studied the effects of caffeine on athletic endurance, running speed, and other factors that go with working out and have found that caffeine can help both amateur and pro athletes to step up their performance. 

However, according to the studies, the best results come from moderate caffeine consumption–no need to go overboard. The consensus is that approximately 3mg of caffeine per kg of body weight is in the ideal range; the good news is you can get that with about one-two cups of coffee. 

But you can get more than just a caffeine buzz from the best coffee for pre-workout if you know what to look for.

What to Look For in Pre-workout Coffee

different types of coffee
Drink coffee that is less acidic

It’s true in general that not all coffee is created equally. Some coffee beans are just better than others. However, there are some particular traits to look out for when it comes to pre-workout.

For example, right before you work out is not a good time to drink something very acidic, so for your pre-workout coffee, you’ll want something that’s light on the acidity. 

It’s also a good idea to look for coffees that aren’t too heavily roasted since you want a solid caffeine boost. Dark roast coffees tend to have slightly less caffeine than their medium and light roast counterparts. 

Finally, consider looking for coffee that offers something beyond just caffeine. While the scientific jury is still out on many supplements, some show promise of helping to boost your performance further, helping you increase your gains. Although, it is not a guarantee you’ll be the next Olympian, busting through a slump in your workout routine is still a good thing. If you like this post, you might be interested in our guide on the best coffee for energy.

Fuel Your Workout With These Types of Coffee

When thinking about the best types of coffee pre-workout, you need to consider the type of coffee and the beans used to make it. 

There are many different ways to brew coffee, and everybody will have their favorites. However, my picks for the best types of pre-workout coffee are:

Cold Brew

cold brew coffee
Cold brew

If you’re about to work out, you don’t want to start things off hot and sweaty so, hot coffee is not the best option. Drip coffee typically contains between 12 to 16 mg of caffeine per ounce

Cold-brew will have you entering the gym feeling refreshed, but it also has more caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. For example, an 8oz cup of coffee will contain around 95 grams of coffee. If you drank the same amount of cold brew, you would be consuming about 100mg.

Avoid a sugary or milky cold brew right before exercising. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up feeling ill. 

Double Espresso

freshly prepared espresso coffee
Espresso

Espresso might not have as much caffeine as cold brew, but it still packs a punch. Given that you should not drink your coffee or pre-workout right before you plan on exercising, you will have time to cool down from this hot drink before hitting the gym.

Drip Coffee

barista doing the pour over method
Drip coffee

Many people say that drip coffee contains more caffeine than espresso and other brews. There is some logic to this claim, but it’s not the most accurate way to explain why you’ll feel more energized after a cup of drip coffee than espresso. 

Ounce per ounce, espresso has more caffeine. However, espresso shots are usually only 1 ounce, while a cup of drip coffee could be 8 ounces or more. There’s around 63 mg of caffeine in an espresso shot, while drip coffee tends to contain 12 to 16 mg of caffeine per ounce.

The Best Coffee For Pre-workout: My Picks

My picks for the best coffee for pre-workout are based on getting the right level of caffeine to boost performance, making sure the coffee isn’t too acidic. I also like to consider any other performance-boosting aspects that might also come into play. With that in mind, I prefer the following brews:

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Ground Coffee

Typically, I don’t recommend pre-ground coffee, but the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee blend is an exception. Despite the lion’s mane mushrooms in the coffee, it doesn’t have any funk–just regular coffee flavor. It’s not as caffeinated as some other coffees, being a 50/50 split of mushrooms and coffee, but the lion’s mane adds something to the mix.

Some studies show that this mushroom can help improve mood and focus and have potential anti-inflammatory effects that make it easier to work out for longer. 

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Ground Coffee, Organic and Fair Trade Coffee with Lions Mane, Chaga, & Mushroom Powder, Focus & Immune Support, 12 Oz Pack may Vary
  • POWER ON FOCUS & IMMUNE SUPPORT: Half the caffeine, more mental clarity; replace your regular beans with ground 100% organic Arabica coffee beans & 500mg of organic Lion’s Mane for focus + Chaga mushroom powder for immune support
  • THINK: Organic Lion’s Mane mushroom is a natural nootropic shown to support memory, focus & concentration; Recognized for its support of cognitive function, Lion’s Mane extract kickstarts your morning
  • IMMUNE SUPPORT: Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee has organic chaga mushroom, with antioxidant properties to support immune function & well-being; Plus organic rhodiola root, to help fight stress; Rich source of vitamin C
  • PERFECT FOR ALL DIETS: Great if you’re vegan, paleo, keto, dairy free or gluten-free; No carriers, fillers, natural flavors or artificial flavors; All ingredients are naturally farmed or wild harvested
  • NO 'SHROOMY TASTE: Tastes like coffee, not like mushrooms; Can be used in a coffee maker or for pour-over; Add a splash of coconut milk, almond cream, raw dairy, or whisk a chunk of butter to make it even better for you and your brain!

Coffee and Kilos PR Blend

It’s rare to find coffee that specifically markets itself as the perfect pre-workout option, but Coffee and Kilos’ PR Blend does just that. The organic, fair-trade coffee features 50% more caffeine than the average brew, sourced from South American beans.

The flavor is excellent, too: mild acidity with light sweetness and a nutty taste that works well with protein powder or shakes to make an all-purpose pre-workout drink.

PR Blend High Caffeine Ground Gourmet Coffee (12oz Bag) Organic Light Medium Roast, Extra Strength Pre Workout Coffee - Fresh Roasted in the USA
  • 50% more caffeine than other coffee
  • All natural (it's just coffee!)
  • Smooth, light roast
  • Hand blended, roasted, and packed in California

Author

  • Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies.