Drinking caffeine before your morning run is a great way to make the most of your jog, but that doesn't mean caffeine in the morning is without its drawbacks.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of having caffeine before your morning run:
First of all, caffeine improves your mental alertness, which is critical when you're aiming to go on an early morning run without feeling groggy. Considering getting out the door is half the battle, caffeine can be a great way to ensure you don't hit snooze and ditch the run.
Caffeine also decreases your perception of effort, which means you can run faster, farther, and longer without feeling as tired. This performance-enhancing effect may not help top-tier athletes, but for most people wanting to go on a morning run, caffeine has been shown to boost performance.
Believe it or not, caffeine has also been shown in some studies to increase fat utilization, which is great for those wanting to lose weight. It's important to note however, you won't burn any fat until you've depleted all of the carbohydrates in your bloodstream.
Caffeine also triggers the same 'feel-good' chemicals in your brain associated with the "runner's high" which means you'll feel even better during and after your runs. And if you know anything about forming habits, it's important to make the habit feel good.
That being said, drinking caffeine and feeling the runner's high will help make the habit more addicting, which means you're more likely to actually go for a run every morning.
Lastly (this goes along with decreasing perception of effort), caffeine can help increase your pace as well.
Drinking caffeine before a run is not without its downsides. First of all, some may experience gastrointestinal distress after having a cup of joe (or caffeine in general).
That's fancy talk for a stomachache, more or less. I've had issues with this myself - in fact, when I have caffeine in the morning, best case scenario I lose my appetite, the worst-case scenario my stomach hurts for several hours.
If you normally don't have issues with caffeine, however, you likely have nothing to worry about in this department.
Caffeine has also been shown to cause headaches, which is the last thing you want to deal with on a morning run. And lastly, too much caffeine can cause the jitters, though you likely won't notice until after you're run. As long as you don't have any underlying heart conditions you shouldn't have to worry about long-term consequences because of too much caffeine, but the jitters aren't pleasant nonetheless.