What’s The Best Coffee for Runners?

Have you ever wondered what the best coffee for runners is or if there is a difference between different coffee brands? This article will discuss that and much more.

Coffee for runners
Coffee helps runners level up their performance

A lot of runners also drink coffee, and many runners swear that a morning cup of coffee helps them when they are out pounding the pavement. Is it just a placebo, or can coffee actually be a performance-enhancing substance for runners?

Actually, there is evidence that shows that the effects of caffeine can have a positive effect if taken pre-run and done in moderation. Thus, next time you’re about to put on your running shoes, consider the performance benefits of having a cup of joe about an hour before taking to the road or treadmill.

It won’t affect your athletic performance to the point where you can go from laying on the sofa to running a marathon, but it could give you that little boost you need to keep going a little longer. As long as you are going about it the right way, the benefits of coffee for runners are there for everyone to see, so read on to find out how you can enjoy them.

Is Coffee Good For Runners?

A 2008 study showed a modest increase in performance for 5K runners after consuming just a 5mg amount of caffeine. Other studies have shown improvements in endurance, recovery, and mental focus during runs as a result of caffeine consumption.

Coffee also shows signs of being healthy in general; while the jury is still out on whether those with hypertension can safely consume caffeine, the polyphenols and other compounds in coffee can provide some benefits for cancer prevention and memory. 

Of course, it’s best not to overdo caffeine before a normal run especially not during race day, when you are pushing yourself that little bit harder. After all, it is a diuretic, and when running, hydration should always be a priority.

There are clear benefits of caffeine, but the last thing you need is to stop urination breaks every mile while having to worry about hydration and replacing the electrolytes you lose. However, if you’re not overdoing your caffeine intake with a crazy amount of milligrams of caffeine, then it can actually be beneficial.

Does The Type of Coffee Matter?

Top view of the different types of coffee
Roast level doesn’t make much of a difference

If coffee is good for runners, is there a difference when it comes to the type of coffee? The good news is that the roast level doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in terms of how much coffee helps runners improve their performances. 

Some runners believe that a darker roast coffee–which tends to have slightly lower acidity–is better if you’re drinking your coffee right before the run. Lower acid coffees mean less of a possibility of acid reflux, which is definitely not something you’d want during a run.

Another factor to consider is whether the coffee beans have other ingredients added; some brands add supplements like ginseng or taurine to their beans, which could boost your performance even more.

It’s also best to avoid milky coffee drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos, or mochas, pre-run. The added dairy won’t mix well with your morning run and will likely leave you feeling nauseous after a short distance.

Adding sugar may not be a good idea either. Without sugar, there’s less risk of a sugar crash, which can indeed help to boost your performance. Instead, for best results, stick with black regular coffee, espresso or drip coffee.

Bulletproof Coffee For Running Performance

What is keto coffee
The high-fat content of keto coffee boosts runners’ performance

If there’s no real difference between the boost you get from dark roast or light roast coffee beans, there might be something about the way you prepare your coffee that could help running performance. Studies are ongoing, but a few interesting results suggest that the way you take your coffee could make a difference.

Followers of the keto diet swear by a method called “bulletproof coffee.” The original Bulletproof coffee was a recipe and a product line developed by entrepreneur David Asprey, but the overall concept took off quickly: black coffee lightened with butter or coconut oil rather than sugar and/or milk.

While there has been no conclusive scientific proof, fans of the brew–many of them are runners–say that the high-fat content helps them run faster and for longer periods of time than coffee alone. Of course, the taste is slightly different from a regular “cup coffee pack” coffee, so it’s not an option that suits all coffee drinkers.

5 Of The Best Coffees For Runners

If you want to see how coffee can improve your performance, it’s a good idea to start with the brands that other runners prefer. For performance-boosting coffee, be on the lookout for additional ingredients and supplements, as well as preferred brewing methods.

Be careful when comparing coffee with energy drinks or gels designed for runners, because some of those products also contain caffeine. Thus, consuming them together can lead to issues around blood pressure and the nervous system.

A few favorites include:

1. Death Wish Coffee

While the name may be a little off-putting, reviews by runners and coffee lovers alike suggest that coffee is strong and smooth, darkly roasted without tasting burned. The brand’s major coffee point is the fact that they use a blend of robusta and arabica beans, resulting in double the caffeine of typical arabica coffee. It might be too much caffeine for some runners, while others love it.

The brand offers a satisfaction guarantee: if you don’t love the coffee, they are happy to refund your purchase. If you suffer from heart palpitations or coffee gives you the jitters, then it might be best to avoid this one. However, if you are a seasoned coffee drinker, this could be the roast that brings your performance to the next level.

Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Grounds
$16.48 ($1.03 / Ounce)
  • Day starter ground coffee
  • Quality brew coffee grounds dark
  • Smooth, dark, ground coffee
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/28/2024 12:50 am GMT

2. Javita Burn + Control Instant Coffee

If you feel like regular coffee isn’t cutting it for you while you’re on a fitness or weight loss journey, Javita Burn + Control coffee may be for you. This instant coffee blend contains coffee, yerba mate extract, and Garcinia Cambogia extract, which is a tropical fruit native to Asia.

One study found that consuming Garcinia Cambogia could reduce abdominal fat accumulation. This brew will also put a pep in your step as yerba mate contains the same amount of caffeine as coffee. With that said, some people experience nausea and diarrhea after eating Garcinia Cambogia, so it’s best to try this coffee in the comfort of your own home first to determine how you react to it before taking it with you on your morning run.

3. Kimera Koffee Ambecoffeet

Packed with vitamins and supplements like Taurine, DMAE, and L-theanine, Kimera Koffee claims that its ground coffee has added health benefits. While the jury is still out on amino acids and other added ingredients in brewed coffee, there are many who swear by coffee supplements already added, and Kimera Koffee has many satisfied customers.

In fact, it’s a coffee that runners swear by, with the effects of coffee from this particular brand being noted by many athletes. The good news is that also has a deliciously balanced taste, which you will want to enjoy not just on running days, but every other day of the year too.

Kimera Koffee Amber Roast
$22.95 ($1.91 / Ounce)

 Organic Ground Honey Processed Coffee Infused with Essential Brain Vitamins

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02/28/2024 08:30 am GMT

4. Bulletproof Coffee

As we said, bulletproof coffee is an option that many runners are swearing by. Its popularity largely came from people on the keto diet, but it’s now found a new target market in cyclists, runners, and other endurance athletes.

The extra calories within the coffee can be good for a quick burst of energy, especially when paired with the caffeine that your receptors will be reacting to as well. Of course, the added oils won’t be for everyone, but it’s a type of coffee that should be tried at least once.

Bulletproof Original Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounces, 100% Arabica Coffee Sourced from Guatemala, Colombia & El Salvador
  • Medium Roast Ground Coffee: Caffeinated coffee with distinct notes of cinnamon, plum, and orange with a cocoa hazelnut finish
  • High Quality Beans: Expertly-picked by hand to provide the highest quality beans and maintain maximum integrity and flavor, following organic practices without the negative financial impact a certification has on local farmers
  • Certified Clean: Tested for impurities to help to keep your coffee pure and clean; Keeps you jitter free
  • Sustainable Standards: Rainforest Alliance Certified using ingredients and best practices that support farm, forest communities and families.
  • Ground: Perfect for pour over or drip coffee makers (Packaging May Vary)

5. Shock Coffee

Shock coffee is a good option if you are a seasoned coffee drinker and want a slightly higher amount of caffeine than a regular cup, but still don’t want to have to deal with the side effects of a super high caffeine coffee like bulletproof. It provides the perfect middle ground.

It’s a flavorful cup that will leave you more hyped than your average energy drink, as it has 250 mg of caffeine per cup (as opposed to Bulletproof’s 472, or a normal cup’s 150mg). There are sweet chocolaty notes within this balanced cup, along with hints of hazelnut.

Shock Coffee - Bold all Arabica Med-Dark Roast Ground, Fresh Look - Richer Taste, 1 pound
  • Bold and Natural: Crafted for coffee enthusiasts with an adventurous spirit, our Shock Coffee offers a naturally bold roasted 100% Arabica blend.
  • Medium to Dark Blend: Experience the perfect balance between medium and dark roast, delivering a harmoniously crafted flavor.
  • Globally Sourced: Celebrated worldwide for its one-of-a-kind flavor, Shock Coffee is sourced globally to provide an exceptional and invigorating energy.
  • Ethically Sourced: Crafted with all-natural components, Shock Coffee guarantees an authentic and pure coffee experience.
  • Beyond Ordinary Brews: Elevate your senses with Shock Coffee, a blend that goes beyond ordinary brews, capturing the essence of excellence in every sip.

Author

  • Savannah McClelland

    Savannah is a coffee lover who took her appreciation of the brew to the next level starting in college, becoming a barista before combining her love of writing with her affection for a good brew. She has written for several publications including Cracked.com and TopTenz, and also works as a ghostwriter. Find Savannah on LinkedIn.