3 ways coffee can help improve your marathon timings

Aiming to get a shorter timing on your 10km runs?

Perhaps you should start drinking coffee. 

Running long distance is no easy feat. Sometimes you need that extra kick to your system for that final push to the end.

It’s known that professional athletes use caffeine as an energy boost, where caffeine is found in energy gels, energy drinks and some athletes even take coffee before their workouts.


So thinking of adding coffee into your marathon training routine? Read on!

Here are 3 ways how coffee can actually improve your running performance:

1. Coffee provides an effective mental and physiological boost

    Coffee, which contains caffeine, is a good source of energy when taken in right amounts. Caffeine, a natural chemical compound found in coffea plants, has the function of blocking adenosine (the chemical in your body that is related to tiredness, fatigue and sleepiness), thus delaying the onset of fatigue.

    The caffeine then stimulates your central nervous system, giving you the additional mental clarity and focus you need during your trainings. At the same time, caffeine activates the motor cortex, the region in the brain responsible for motor function, allowing you to react much more quickly on mental and physical levels.

    2. Coffee is beneficial for endurance performance

    Endurance is what keeps you going when you feel like giving up on your long distance runs. Wouldn’t it be easier to have a helping hand in your endurance training?

    Research has shown that more than two-thirds of Olympic athletes take caffeine to improve their endurance running. In addition, according to Men’s Health, studies have been done to prove that there is a 5% improvement in timings for endurance athletes.

    The effects of caffeine will be greater for trained athletes vs non-trained, so it’s not a quick fix if you haven’t prepared for your race day. For your pre-marathon run, try out a cuppa joe in the morning and compare the difference and get that training in!

    3. Coffee offers a quick and immediate boost to your overall system

    Need a quick fix to your morning wakefulness before your marathon run? Don’t fret, coffee takes care of that too. Caffeine is quickly absorbed into the blood stream, and affects your central nervous system within 10 minutes of ingestion, while peak effects of coffee show after 45 minutes as 99% of caffeine is absorbed.
    So wait to consume that cup of coffee 30-60 mins prior to the start of the race, and the majority of your caffeine will be absorbed into your system, making you all pumped up and ready for the run!

      So you must be wondering, how much caffeine should you consume to get that extra performance boost?

      Several studies indicate a moderate level consumption is all you need to up your game!

      For reference, the suggested caffeine dosage is estimated at 3–6 mg per kg which is about 200–400 mg depending on your body weight. A 6 oz cup of Robusta filter drip coffee contains ~200mg of caffeine (vs Arabica at 110mg per 6oz cup). So start low, at 150–200 mg, to assess your tolerance and gradually increase to assess the optimum level for your performance.

      One last factor to consider is that the effects of caffeine on athletic performance will also depend on your usual consumption of coffee. If you’re a daily drinker of serial cups of coffee, you may want to scale down to a cup a day or abstain a week prior to the race in order to optimize your cuppa’s effects on race day!

      For exploring coffee profiles, take a look at JJ Royal Coffee’s selection of Indonesia’s best mountain coffee! The Robusta in our Sumatra Classic will give you that perfect boost on your race day!  

      Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Expo

      Taking part in Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon this year? Come try our Specialty Coffee at the Race Pack Collection & Expo from 5-8 December 2018!


      Marina Bay Sands, Exhibition Halls B & C, 10 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018956


      5th Dec: 4pm - 10pm
      6 & 7th Dec: 10am - 10pm
      8th Dec: 9am - 7pm

      See you there at the JJ Royal Coffee booth!