Is Caffeine Wrecking Your Exercise Performance?

Coffee is known for its energy-increasing caffeine, not to mention delightful flavors and aroma. While millions of people around the world rely on their daily java to boost their energy levels, new research found that it might not be such a great idea when it comes to your exercise performance.

According to the new study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, coffee may reduce exercise performance. Most people simply assume that if the caffeine in coffee boosts energy than having more energy must also improve exercise, but the study suggests otherwise. The male study participants underwent repeated sprint performance activities. They conducted the tests without any caffeine to establish a baseline and then were divided into groups to receive either caffeinated chewing gum or a placebo, which consisted of non-caffeinated chewing gum.

The researchers found that a low amount of caffeine (40 milligrams daily) on a regular basis was fine for performance, but higher amounts, which were established as greater than 130 milligrams daily, resulted in a worsening of sports performance in the study participants. The study also found that those who consumed about the amount of 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily had a decline in their sprint performance.

Based on the study results, one twelve-ounce cup of coffee daily or two cups of black or green tea is unlikely to affect your sports performance, but drinking more than that may be detrimental to your results.

Earlier research in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that caffeine improved muscle strength so caffeine may not be entirely bad for physical activity.

To compare the study caffeine dose to how much caffeine you’re getting in common beverages and foods, check out the following chart:


Starbucks Venti (20 ounces) Blonde Roast coffee—475 milligrams caffeine

Starbucks Coffee Pike Place Roast Grande (16 ounces)—310 milligrams caffeine

Dunkin’ Donuts medium coffee (14 ounce)—210 milligrams caffeine

Nespresso Kazaarcapsule (1 capsule, makes 1 ounce)—120 milligrams caffeine

Folgers Ground Coffee House Blend 2 tablespoons (makes 12 ounces)—60 to 80 milligrams caffeine

Maxwell House Light Ground Coffee 2 tablespoons (makes 12 ounces)—50 to 100 milligrams caffeine

Green Mountain Keurig K Cup Breakfast Blend or Nantucket Blend 1 pod (makes 8 ounces)—75 milligrams caffeine

Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera, or Starbucks Decaf coffee 16 ounces 10 to 25 milligrams caffeine


Starbucks Chai Latte Grande (16 ounces)—95 milligrams caffeine

Black Tea brewed 8 ounces—47 milligrams caffeine

Green Tea brewed 8 ounces—29 milligrams caffeine

Arizona Iced Tea Black 16 ounces—30 milligrams caffeine

Herbal Tea—0 milligrams caffeine

Soft Drinks

Pepsi 20 ounces—63 milligrams caffeine

Pepsi 12 ounces—38 milligrams caffeine

Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or Diet Pepsi 20 ounces—56-57 milligrams caffeine

Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or Diet Pepsi 12 ounces—34 milligrams caffeine

Diet Coke 12 ounces—46 milligrams caffeine

Dr. Pepper 20 ounces—68 milligrams caffeine

Mountain Dew 12 ounces—54 milligrams caffeine

Barq’s Root Beer 12 ounces—22 milligrams caffeine

7-Up, Fanta, Fresca, Ginger Ale, or Sprite 12 ounces—0 milligrams caffeine

Energy Drinks

Full Throttle 16 ounces—160 milligrams caffeine

Monster Energy 16 ounces—160 milligrams caffeine

Rockstar Energy 16 ounces—160 milligrams caffeine

Red Bull 8 ounces—80 milligrams caffeine

Caffeine increases energy by stimulating the central nervous system, which reduces fatigue and drowsiness. While athletes may turn to these beverages to improve their performance, the study results suggest that 2 or more cups of coffee may have the reverse effect.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of ScentsationalWellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.



Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

thanks for sharing

Harriet B
Harriet Babout a year ago

Coffee makes the world turn. And it is good for you.

Cathy B
Cathy Babout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Anne G
Anne Gabout a year ago


Winn A
Winn Adamsabout a year ago


Winn A
Winn Adamsabout a year ago


Dennis H
Dennis Hallabout a year ago

Thank you.

Jonathan H
Jonathan Harperabout a year ago


Mona M
Mona Mabout a year ago

Thank you. Thousands of articles have been written about coffee or not coffee. But each one should have a direct personal experience if it's good for health or not!

Ellie M
Ellie Mabout a year ago

i thought caffeine improved your workout?