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Coffee…An Ergogenic Aid For Your Performance?

Coffee…An Ergogenic Aid For Your Performance?

Cup of Coffee by fhansenphoto

Are you like me first thing in the morning by the fact that if you don’t get your coffee do you immediately transform into a Grizzly bear and savagely destroy anything in your path to get to that first cup? Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but if you are a coffee junkie then you know where I’m coming from. So what about that funky word Ergogenic Aid you read in the title? Well, you’re lucky I’ve had my coffee today because I’m going to dive into that right here in today’s post!

Ergogenic Aid: Something that is classified as nutritional, pharmacologic, physiologic, or psychological in order to enhance athletic performance.

Caffeine: A bitter alkaloid often derived from tea or coffee chiefly used medicinally as a stimulant. 

So what does coffee have to do with this whole ergogenic aid business? Well, it’s not so much the coffee as it is it’s chief ingredient of caffeine that is at the center of this whole ergogenic aid discussion. You see caffeine, as defined above, is a mild stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure. It also has some psychotropic properties that can relate to mood enhancement and can even be used to alleviate mild headaches.

As far as I’m concerned it’s a terrific drug! If you’re like me it helps to get you a little ramped up after a long day of training, marketing, studying, blogging, and grinding through the responsibilities of running a small business so that you can go flip some big ass Tonka Truck tractor tires to blow off some steam! Yes, this is me flipping a big ass Tonka Truck tractor tire.

Photo: Anyone need a spare? By: Brandon Richey Fitness


So how does coffee, or caffeine, qualify as an ergogenic aid? Well, there has been data to demonstrate the effects of caffeine on the body during physical exercise as being beneficial in terms of the production of additional muscular power. Really? Yep (2008 by K. Woolf, W.K. Bidwell and A.G. Carlsen), studies by the guys here in parenthesis were done utilizing various instruments to measure strength and even the onset of fatigue. Even up against the placebos the effects of caffeine used by many of the participants demonstrated more strength output, as well as less fatigue in various exercises.

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So should we all go gulp down some Starbucks or a Red Bull and hit the weight room with a Hulk like vengeance? Well, I would say pump the brakes and slow down there a bit Tonto. Just because there is data supporting it and it happens to work for me that doesn’t mean that this would be the right choice for you. Once again, caffeine (coffee) is an effective ergogenic aid, but you may not get the same benefits from it that I do.

I mean you may be super sensitive to caffeine, it may not be a good fit for you due to your own health reasons, or you may just be used to training without using it at all. There are a number of factors to consider before you decide to just try and go handle it without first doing some homework. Look ergogenic aids come in many forms (refer to the definition at the top) and can absolutely be a negative just as much as caffeine itself can be a positive.

The real reason I’m pointing this out is that if you are a regular coffee drinker (as I am) that has been noticing a definite boost in your performance during your training from enjoying a nice cup of Joe then this is the reason why. I’m merely pointing out a nice little positive that you may or may not have been aware of that can now present itself to you as being a nice little surprise. Just consider it my good deed for the day!

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Look, just make sure to do your homework before using any type of supplement to your diet and training. In general I’m not a huge proponent of supplements simply because most of them are junk and produce nothing more than expensive urine. The best thing you can do is to get your food intake in check and throw around some iron with a purpose. However, if you do choose to use something that can potentially be positive for your situation such as caffeine then maybe it can help you with that purpose. Just make sure to be smart. If you don’t and end up being too sensitive to it you may end up doing this to a colleague at work…

You see there might be a slight drawback to being overly caffeinated. If you are in need for some more pleasant surprises regarding your training and nutrition then make sure you get yourself a copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook right here. It’s a sort of ergogenic aid in and of itself!

Also if you happen to be a fan of the Kindle readers and Kindle Apps then make sure you get your copy of that version right here off of Amazon. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend!



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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