Bang Keto Coffee vs Placebo for Exercise Performance

If you use caffeine for your workouts, this post is for you. If you have wondered whether Bang Keto Coffee would make your workouts even better, this post is for you. Caffeine Scientist GreenEyedGuide is your guide to a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on Bang Keto Coffee versus placebo for exercise performance. What does this study mean to you? GreenEyedGuide has those answers and more.

Short on time? You can listen to this podcast on the go or scan the simplified version of the podcast transcript below. You can find the Caffeine at Midnight podcast on most podcast platforms. Remember to subscribe/follow to be notified of new episodes.


  1. Summary of research study on Bang Keto Coffee versus placebo on exercise performance
  2. Review of placebo dos-and-donts
  3. Recap of the International Society for Sports Nutrition official position on caffeine and exercise performance

How does Bang Keto Coffee compare to placebo for exercise performance?

A Primer on Types of Studies Involving Humans

This research study I’m referring to is called, “Effects of Bang® Keto Coffee Energy Drink on Metabolism and Exercise Performance in Resistance-Trained Adults: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Crossover Study”. This is a research paper that was published in August 2020 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports and Nutrition.

A randomized trial is one in which the people are randomly assigned to a test group which receives the treatment, or a control group which commonly receives a placebo. So it’s randomized in that when you participate in this research study, you’re randomly assigned to either the placebo group or the control group.

In blind trials, participants don’t know if they’re getting the treatment or the placebo. And in double blind trials, neither the neither the experimenters nor the participants know what they’re getting. 

Essentially, double-blind, randomized control trials, means that they’re doing a lot of different things to remove bias. If the scientists don’t know who’s getting the placebo or the treatment, they can’t make any type of hints or suggestions that might sway the participants behavior. And since the participants don’t know if they’re getting the placebo, or the treatment, that usually eliminates any type of like psychological bias that might happen.

Bang Keto Coffee vs Placebo Dos and Don'ts

First of all, protein is a popular workout supplement. Caffeine is also a popular workout supplement. However, as this research paper pointed out, there’s not a whole lot of information on how combinations of caffeine and protein affect people’s exercise performance. The goal of the paper was to try to find some answers. Unfortunately, that brings us to topic number two: placebo do’s and don’ts.

In this study, the “treatment” is the Bang Keto Coffee. That’s what they’re testing to see how it improves exercise performance. In Bang Keto Coffee, keto coffee, there’s 130 calories, 300 milligrams of caffeine and 20 grams of protein. In the placebo, there was only 30 Calories, 11 milligrams of caffeine, and only 11 grams of protein.

The whole point of having a placebo is to isolate the cause and the effect of the treatment.

In other words, if the treatment has the same amount of caffeine as the placebo but a different amount of protein, then you can say, “A-HA! It’s the combination that makes the difference, because the people in the placebo group had the same amount of caffeine, and they didn’t do as well ergo, it’s the combination of caffeine and protein.”

And that’s how they failed here.

Bang Keto Coffee vs the ISSN Position on Caffeine

The title of the research paper (much like the words atop a can of Bang) misrepresents what’s inside.

In this research study, the placebo should have had either the same amount of caffeine or the same amount of protein as Bang Keto Coffee. Without matching either of those, there’s not enough there’s not enough evidence to differentiate whether it’s the caffeine, or the protein, or the combination that made the participants perform differently than the placebo group.

In short, this double-blind placebo controlled randomized crossover trial didn’t prove their initial goal that combinations of caffeine and protein make people perform better. They just proved that getting caffeine makes you perform better.

This isn’t news, this is and has been for some time now, the official position of the International Society for Sports Nutrition.

“Supplementation with caffeine has been shown to acutely enhance various aspects of exercise performance. In many but not all studies. small to moderate benefits of caffeine use include but not but are not limited to muscular endurance, movement, velocity and muscle strength, sprinting, jumping and throwing performance, as well as a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic sport specific actions”

International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance

Bottom Line: Do you really need protein and coffee for your workout?

In short, unfortunately, this paper on Bang Keto Coffee doesn’t prove anything about their drink. And it certainly doesn’t prove anything about combinations of caffeine and protein.

So this is a little bit disappointing. When I saw the magic keywords of this paper, “randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study,” I got excited. I thought it was going to be something meaningful; something helpful to caffeine consumers like me that use caffeine for working out.

Unfortunately, this paper doesn’t do anything to increase our knowledge of caffeine, and how it helps us or hurts us.

Essentially, we know that caffeine improves exercise performance by itself. So do you really need anything else?

Probably not.


[1] Harty, P.S., Stratton, M.T., Escalante, G. et al. Effects of Bang® Keto Coffee Energy Drink on Metabolism and Exercise Performance in Resistance-Trained Adults: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Crossover Study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 17, 45 (2020).

[2] Guest, N.S., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Nelson, M.T. et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 1 (2021).

Science Behind Noo Fuzion

The makers of Bang Energy are at it again, this time with a drink that blurs the lines between energy drink, pre-workout supplement, and nootropic. But is it really “Cognitive Candy” as the label says? Let’s review the Science behind Noo Fuzion. What makes Noo Fuzion special and how does this drink compare to an energy drink like Red Bull? Or to a nootropic like Qualia Mind?

Science Behind Noo Fuzion - In This Post:

Hi there, I research caffeine, energy drinks, and fatigue in the workplace.

I’ve been passionate about the science behind energy drinks since 2003. After getting my degrees in biochemistry and food science, I wrote a book all about energy drink ingredients and safety concerns.

I’ve always been fascinated by caffeinated beverages, and by some of the energy drink stereotypes and caffeine misconceptions that just won’t go away. As a result, my mission as the “GreenEyedGuide” is to help people who deal with caffeine and fatigue on a regular basis.

Short on Time? This blog post is available in PODCAST form! Listen to this episode of the Caffeine at Midnight Podcast right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Continue reading