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Decaf or Regular Coffee as Pre-Workout Drink?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Reading through some previous posts (mostly the one here --> http://paleohacks.com/questions/18965/source-for-paleo-bcaas-for-fasted-training-leangains) about coffee as a pre-workout "supplement". I've used it a couple of times and have been really pleased with the results on my workout. My question is this; is it the caffeine in the coffee that makes it a good pre-wo drink?

I'm currently on a 6a-2p shift and commute roughly 70 miles each way. I wake up at 4am and usually am in bed between 9-10pm. If I drink coffee WITH caffeine anytime after 4-4:30 (I get home around 4ish) it messes with my sleep that night.

Bottom line; does decaf have the same benefits as a pre-wo drink?

On a sidenote; black coffee helps me through my IF days IMMENSELY.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:10 PM

I wanted to add that I don't like Modern Labs BCAA as much as XTend now that I am working through that container. It doesn't mix well and gives me some issues. I'd rather stick with the coloring from XTend.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:59 AM

I've got this on the way (xtend blue raspberry flavor)...due on my front steps tomorrow afternoon :-)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 29, 2011
at 01:46 PM

I think its definitely both the actual stimulant and the placebo. I think most everything is always BOTH things.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 29, 2011
at 12:57 PM

I need to look up some research on the chemicals used to decaffeinate...hadn't given much thought to them

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:47 AM

You can get swiss water decaf coffee if you're in need of decaf but don't want it chemically produced. But I don't think decaf coffee pre-workout is going to help at all.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 29, 2011
at 06:52 AM

Hey Tactical Savage, I have not heard about that, as I'm not a coffee drinker, so unfortunately I have nothing to add there. However, I am familiar with the EAC stack...if you're still using that stack you might want to use real ephedrine instead of psuedophedrine. They still do sell real OTC ephedrine as asthma medication, as Bronkaid (with a small dose of Guaifenesin) and a few pure ephedrine alternatives that are much more expensive.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Forrest, I have used aspirin for 15 years with coffee (and pseudofed back in the day) pre-wo. Old bodybuilding trick called, "poor mans stack". My question to you is, do you know of the effect of adding heavy cream to the coffee? I have heard that it neutralizes a lot of the acids....

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 28, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Hey I take Xtend too. Get it off amazon. I agree that I get a somewhat coffee-like buzz from them, too. I do one or the other before lifting.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 10:05 PM

Hey Mike, thanks, I actually buy powdered caffeine anhydrous in 400gr containers. It's basically free compared to the cost of pills. 400gr of caffeine will theoretically last me over 5 years and costs around $25 currently (my original purchase was only around $17 but silver hit 49$ an ounce today so, no surprise there.)

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Well, again, pure caffeine may be the way to go instead of coffee. It's much much cheaper, btw. Check for the 400gr container on Amazon from 1Fast400. Then just try a very small dosage and increase until you see a problem. Your sleep problems might be compounded by other things, though. First and most importantly, make sure to sleep in a pitch black room. No lighted clocks, leds, anything. For more info, read "Lights Out" by TS Wiley. Small doses of melatonin can also help.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:46 PM

and that's been my problem...if I take the 6oz size from our Keurig (Winning!), about 10 min before working out, it's been a spectacular workout but when I did that, it was 3:45pm'ish and I was fine by the time 9:30pm rolled around...too late and I toss n turn all night

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:45 PM

cool, thanks man will google those ones

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Sure, caffeine can definitely disturb your sleep. The earlier in the day you take it, the less chance of this there is. I have noticed that I have no jitters at all from caffeine taken before a workout. And I am definitely still sensative to it, but working out certainly curbs any side effects.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 28, 2011
at 07:54 PM

I currently am taking the Xtend BCAA and I have some Modern Labs BCAA coming up after that. Before I was taking an unflavored one and that is pretty gnarly. If you're worried about too much artificial sweetness try getting one of each and mixing them 50/50. You don't need much sweetness and still get the boost.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 06:41 PM

which brand of BCAAs do you take? I've looked at a couple different brands...how do you like yours?

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 06:03 PM

but I think that caffeine is what will disrupt my sleep at night :(

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 04:46 PM

thanks, that's what I was wondering (if the placebo effect was enough to get you pumped)...I can drink decaf up to my bedtime and sleep perfectly fine

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 03:07 PM

I've been trying to slim down and just finished 30 days of pretty strict paleo eating. My workout consists of some bodyweight exercises (pullups/chinups) and then some pushups/dips on my gymnast rings, and then a few kettlebell exercises, including the brutal TGUs

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:43 PM

I have asthma. Caffeine is a bronchodilator. Days I don"t drink, I certainly can't do wind sprints. What's your goal with it?

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:39 PM

should add that it's a "fasted" workout; bodyweight exercises along with a kettlebell

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5 Answers

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2
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Your best bet is to take 200mg of pure caffeine before workouts. The acids in coffee can elevate cortisol for up for 14 hours. Studies showing the benefits of caffeine on metabolism were done without the excitotoxins and optionally milk solids/sugars normally ingested with coffee. (*Master Your Metabolism, Jillian Michaels, 2009)

Edit: Another thing I probably should have mentioned: Jillian always recommends taking a small dose of aspirin with caffeine (like 125-150mg). I can't find the reference right this second, but it apparently reduces some of the negative side effects and enhances the positives. Her line of metabolism boosting supplements are mainly caffeine, aspirin, and vitamin C.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:46 PM

and that's been my problem...if I take the 6oz size from our Keurig (Winning!), about 10 min before working out, it's been a spectacular workout but when I did that, it was 3:45pm'ish and I was fine by the time 9:30pm rolled around...too late and I toss n turn all night

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Forrest, I have used aspirin for 15 years with coffee (and pseudofed back in the day) pre-wo. Old bodybuilding trick called, "poor mans stack". My question to you is, do you know of the effect of adding heavy cream to the coffee? I have heard that it neutralizes a lot of the acids....

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 06:03 PM

but I think that caffeine is what will disrupt my sleep at night :(

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Sure, caffeine can definitely disturb your sleep. The earlier in the day you take it, the less chance of this there is. I have noticed that I have no jitters at all from caffeine taken before a workout. And I am definitely still sensative to it, but working out certainly curbs any side effects.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Well, again, pure caffeine may be the way to go instead of coffee. It's much much cheaper, btw. Check for the 400gr container on Amazon from 1Fast400. Then just try a very small dosage and increase until you see a problem. Your sleep problems might be compounded by other things, though. First and most importantly, make sure to sleep in a pitch black room. No lighted clocks, leds, anything. For more info, read "Lights Out" by TS Wiley. Small doses of melatonin can also help.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 29, 2011
at 06:52 AM

Hey Tactical Savage, I have not heard about that, as I'm not a coffee drinker, so unfortunately I have nothing to add there. However, I am familiar with the EAC stack...if you're still using that stack you might want to use real ephedrine instead of psuedophedrine. They still do sell real OTC ephedrine as asthma medication, as Bronkaid (with a small dose of Guaifenesin) and a few pure ephedrine alternatives that are much more expensive.

1
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 28, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Personally I also can't drink coffee in the afternoon or my sleep will be ruined. I do take BCAAs pre-workout on an empty stomach which really give me a boost without any added caffeine.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 28, 2011
at 07:54 PM

I currently am taking the Xtend BCAA and I have some Modern Labs BCAA coming up after that. Before I was taking an unflavored one and that is pretty gnarly. If you're worried about too much artificial sweetness try getting one of each and mixing them 50/50. You don't need much sweetness and still get the boost.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 06:41 PM

which brand of BCAAs do you take? I've looked at a couple different brands...how do you like yours?

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:45 PM

cool, thanks man will google those ones

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 28, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Hey I take Xtend too. Get it off amazon. I agree that I get a somewhat coffee-like buzz from them, too. I do one or the other before lifting.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:59 AM

I've got this on the way (xtend blue raspberry flavor)...due on my front steps tomorrow afternoon :-)

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:10 PM

I wanted to add that I don't like Modern Labs BCAA as much as XTend now that I am working through that container. It doesn't mix well and gives me some issues. I'd rather stick with the coloring from XTend.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:23 AM

Drink coffee or supplement. Are ingesting the chemicals use to decaffeinate worth the risks?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:47 AM

You can get swiss water decaf coffee if you're in need of decaf but don't want it chemically produced. But I don't think decaf coffee pre-workout is going to help at all.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 29, 2011
at 12:57 PM

I need to look up some research on the chemicals used to decaffeinate...hadn't given much thought to them

0
Cd2ff8c68dd1f1d539ad7f0ee94b0421

on April 28, 2011
at 04:25 PM

No decaf! I am another who drinks one espresso before my weight workout. The idea is that I get one more rep that I wouldn't otherwise have gotten, and so am able to make the workout a little more intense, and cause a greater stress and hopefully a commensurately greater adaptation. In the days when I used to be a distance runner, caffeine was more of a motivational tool ... on a cold, rainy day it was often the only way I was going to get out the door for an 8 mile run, especially in the morning.

Forrest had an interesting comment about using pills instead of coffee in order to reduce cortisol.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 28, 2011
at 10:05 PM

Hey Mike, thanks, I actually buy powdered caffeine anhydrous in 400gr containers. It's basically free compared to the cost of pills. 400gr of caffeine will theoretically last me over 5 years and costs around $25 currently (my original purchase was only around $17 but silver hit 49$ an ounce today so, no surprise there.)

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I would think that the caffeine is the important part of the coffee for PWO purposes. I do also believe in the placebo effect and you might still think you're getting that kick from decaf but the real stimulant is in that caffeine. I do one espresso before lifting.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 28, 2011
at 04:46 PM

thanks, that's what I was wondering (if the placebo effect was enough to get you pumped)...I can drink decaf up to my bedtime and sleep perfectly fine

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 29, 2011
at 01:46 PM

I think its definitely both the actual stimulant and the placebo. I think most everything is always BOTH things.

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