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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition


Coffee, caffeine, bioactives, chlorogenic acids, polyphenols, ergogenic







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Based on review and critical analysis of the literature regarding the contents and physiological effects of coffee related to physical and cognitive performance conducted by experts in the field and selected members of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), the following conclusions represent the official Position of the Society:

(1) Coffee is a complex matrix of hundreds of compounds. These are consumed with broad variability based upon serving size, bean type (e.g. common Arabica vs. Robusta), and brew method (water temperature, roasting method, grind size, time, and equipment).

(2) Coffee’s constituents, including but not limited to caffeine, have neuromuscular, antioxidant, endocrine, cognitive, and metabolic (e.g. glucose disposal and vasodilation) effects that impact exercise performance and recovery.

(3) Coffee’s physiologic effects are influenced by dose, timing, habituation to a small degree (to coffee or caffeine), nutrigenetics, and potentially by gut microbiota differences, sex, and training status.

(4) Coffee and/or its components improve performance across a temporal range of activities from reaction time, through brief power exercises, and into the aerobic time frame in most but not all studies. These broad and varied effects have been demonstrated in men (mostly) and in women, with effects that can differ from caffeine ingestion, per se. More research is needed.

(5) Optimal dosing and timing are approximately two to four cups (approximately 473–946 ml or 16–32 oz.) of typical hot-brewed or reconstituted instant coffee (depending on individual sensitivity and body size), providing a caffeine equivalent of 3–6 mg/kg (among other components such as chlorogenic acids at approximately 100–400 mg per cup) 60 min prior to exercise.

(6) Coffee has a history of controversy regarding side effects but is generally considered safe and beneficial for healthy, exercising individuals in the dose range above.

(7) Coffee can serve as a vehicle for other dietary supplements, and it can interact with nutrients in other foods.

(8) A dearth of literature exists examining coffee-specific ergogenic and recovery effects, as well as variability in the operational definition of “coffee,” making conclusions more challenging than when examining caffeine in its many other forms of delivery (capsules, energy drinks, “pre-workout” powders, gum, etc.).

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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