Coffee After Workout – Is It Worth It?

All these supplements you can find for gym-goers are meant to make your life easier. But if you are like me, you want to know what goes inside you and what pros and cons it has. Sometimes, sticking to simple things in life might be the way forward, right?

Coffee After Workout – Is It Worth It

The same goes for supplements.

Pre-workout supplements come with all kinds of extras, such as sugar or extra carbs. Unfortunately, this also holds true for other meal alternatives including protein shakes and other powders out there, which can be quite a challenge especially for those of you with sensitive stomachs.

That said, however, if you are often feeling gassed out either before or after hitting the gym, consider getting a powder that offers you the right kind of energy, but without throwing your tummy into turmoil…

Now, a strong coffee may not be as effective, but it provides great results with little to no side effects once you get used to it. While the pre-workout coffee has proven effects, what should you know about a coffee after workout?

A regular coffee drinker will have a cup once they are done with the shower. Whether they want to unwind after the gym or they need more energy to get through their days, a coffee after workout does have a bunch of benefits as well – including some for your recovery period.

Is it okay to drink coffee after a workout?

At this point, it makes sense to determine more factors in the process.

For instance, I tend to workout early in the morning, before work. A coffee prior to my workout will boost my energy for the morning. But then, once I get home and shower, I have another one – it helps me relax a little, but it also provides more energy later on, as I get to work.

As an avid coffee drinker, I have a few more cups throughout the day.

But then, gyms are even busier in the afternoon or evening. If you are new to coffee then having it in the afternoon may not be a good idea. The dose could be too high – while you will waste most of the energy in the gym, you may still struggle to fall asleep early.

The issue is not that bad if you are a night owl.

Then, there are times when people exercise late in the evening – after 8 PM or even later. I do that sometimes too. Coffee after workout is not a good idea, unless you work night shifts. Even if you waste lots of energy, the coffee will keep you wound up, and you will fail to fall asleep straight away.

I have so much coffee that I do not even notice the effects anymore, but this is different. I would have a coffee prior to the workout, but I would never have one after completing it. When it comes to new coffee drinkers, I do not even recommend pre-workout coffee if you hit the gym late in the evening.

Benefits of drinking coffee after workout

Coffee boosts the natural fat-burning process regardless of when you have it. It also works on the RMR – Resting Metabolic Rate. This rate determines your calorie burning capacity when you are not working out. This RMR varies from one individual to another.

The higher your metabolic rate is, the easier your body will burn calories. In some cases, coffee can increase the RMR by over 10% – obviously, you would need a strong coffee for the rate to go up so fast. It makes no difference when you have it.

The point is – you can have a coffee after workout and gain more leverage to your workout, even after you have completed the workout.

Coffee is also known to replenish the glycogen in your body, so it makes a good recovery option for athletes and regular gym goers. This benefit is more important in those who train specific groups of muscles regularly.

Coffee after workout will refuel your muscles and prevent the accumulation of lactic acid due to the high amounts of glycogen. Glycogen is the primary source of fuel for your muscles, especially throughout the workout.

This is why you need some carbs after your workout.

Bring in some coffee as well, and your glycogen levels will skyrocket.

Once you are done with the exercise, muscles will start contracting – it is a natural process. More glucose will be allowed in then. Boost the glycogen with caffeine, and your muscles will thank you.

Finally, a coffee after workout will help you mobilize fats. This is one of the reasons wherefore I find heavy coffee drinkers to look slimmer. Caffeine will go straight into the bloodstream and make it to your brain as well.

The nervous system will send a message to fat cells – a request to break down fat. The high levels of epinephrine are given by high caffeine consumption. This hormone is directly responsible for the fat-burning process.

Side effects of coffee after workout

Coffee after workout is different from coffee before workout for an obvious reason. The caffeine intake will give you lots of energy before the workout, which you will most likely burn throughout your exercises. Coffee after workout gives you energy further on.

In other words, if you have a coffee after a workout in the evening, you may struggle to fall asleep – despite the benefits associated with it. Even if you feel tired and you do manage to fall asleep, you will have a restless night and feel tired in the morning.

Indeed, post-workout coffee does have some benefits.

However, the pre-workout coffee will raise the glycogen levels anyway, so you do not always need more. If you are new to caffeine and feel sensitivity, you will most likely get the jitters. You will feel more stressed and anxious about it.

Other than that, unless you love coffee, the bitter taste is not worth it after a workout.

Best coffee after workout

Now, deciding on the best coffee after a workout depends on more factors.

First of all, there are more options. Instant coffee is the easiest one – a bit of powder, some hot water on top, and done. I find this the most convenient option when in a rush. Plus, you have different brands out there and each of them tastes differently.

Classic boiled coffee tastes better, but it takes more to prepare. Then, if you can get a machine for espressos, even better. An espresso is quite strong and concentrated. Plus, it is creamy and actually tasty.

Now, unless you love black coffee – no sugar, no milk, it is worth enhancing your beverage with a few extras. Keep in mind that your body needs carbohydrates after a workout, so you will also need some food apart from coffee.

When it comes to mixing things into coffee, your options are more diversified. Classic milk is one thing, but you can also opt for oat, almond, or soy milk, just to give you a few examples. What matters is that caffeine will be absorbed into your body regardless of the type of milk.

If you are after a proper hit, opt for high caffeine content. On the same note, caffeine levels will depend on your taste levels too. Those who have just started drinking coffee will find it quite strong, while an avid drinker will find average levels insignificant.


There are no doubts that coffee after workout can and will help, but this is not a general rule. Unless you need to go to sleep soon after, the benefits will not justify the jitters at night.

How long should you wait to drink coffee after working out?

You do not necessarily need to keep a jug of coffee by the lockers to have after you finish your workout. Take your time, go home, shower, and enjoy the coffee. You can have a coffee 10 minutes after a workout, half an hour, or an hour later.

Can I drink milk coffee after workout?

Absolutely. Whether you do not like the strong taste of coffee or the bitterness, you can mix other things in it, such as sugar or milk. It makes no difference what type of milk you choose – at the end of the day, it is a liquid, so caffeine will be absorbed into the bloodstream within the next hour.

Is coffee good for muscle recovery?

A coffee after your workout will raise the natural levels of glycogen, which will fuel your muscles and help with the recovery process. Therefore, a coffee after workout is not a bad idea, as long as this benefit outweighs the potential side effects.


As a short final conclusion, lots of people have coffee after workout and for multiple reasons.

Some do it in order to relax and chill down a bit – they simply enjoy a hot drink after showering, without realizing that coffee will also help with the recovery.

Some others do it with the one and only purpose to boost the recovery process.

However, just like any other thing you have for your fitness condition, coffee must be carefully considered because it may have side effects, especially if you have just started drinking it.

Such potential reactions are mild – most importantly, you must be concerned about having coffee at a late time in the evening or even in the afternoon. The impossibility to fall asleep is not worth its benefits.