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View Poll Results: How often do you use caffeine?
Multiple times a day... I NEEEED it!!!!! 60 63.83%
Only before tough training sessions... nice performance booster. 10 10.64%
Only before races... PRO. 11 11.70%
Rarely, just not my cuppa tea. 8 8.51%
Never, it makes me slower/jittery/crap lots. 5 5.32%
Voters: 94. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-05-08, 07:09 PM   #1
ldesfor1@ithaca
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POLL: caffeine!!

Do you use caffeine as a performance enhancer, or otherwise?

When and How Why?

What's your poison? Espresso? Black Coffee? Redbull? Chocolate? Soda? Gels?

If not, why?
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Old 03-05-08, 07:15 PM   #2
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I'll take an espresso before most team rides, and one Spike before crits.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:17 PM   #3
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I drink caffeinated beverages so rarely that when I have a coke it keeps me up at night (that's a little exaggerated, but not much). I can't even imagine what a Redbull or Monster would do to me.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:18 PM   #4
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It is not merely a performance enhancer, nay it is a Life Enhancer.

(I'll take a double shot and two lumps of sugar, please.)
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Old 03-05-08, 07:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ldesfor1@ithaca View Post
Do you use caffeine as a performance enhancer, or otherwise?

When and How Why?

What's your poison? Espresso? Black Coffee? Redbull? Chocolate? Soda? Gels?

If not, why?

Ok, here's my 2 cents:

I use it daily and definitely before tough sessions and all races. Black tea when I get up and tea or coffee once at work, the stronger the better.

I likes (in order of most used forms): Black coffee, espresso, black tea, caffeinated gels, sugarfree redbull. Occasionally I'll do cappuccino, green tea or iced coffee with skim milk and sugar... I love it all... I even do instant coffee if need be.

I am addicted and proud. The stuff is so good.

I really feel an energy boost and many a cold night caffeine has often gotten me on the trainer when my resolve could not.

Race day ritual: triple espresso 45 minutes before a race starts... rocket fuel, baby.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:21 PM   #6
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Coffee is a grade-saver.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:35 PM   #7
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FAST TWITCH powder from CytoSport.

one scoop has 200mg of caffeine.


about a year ago, my LBS told me about this stuff and gave me a "shipping damaged" barrel of the stuff. he told me to put two scoops in a bottle, and drink 1/2 before and the other 1/2 during my next hard workout.


holy cr@p! i drank my first sip at 6:30 in the morning... and at 11:45 that night i still couldnt go to sleep due to my heart wanting to pound out of my chest.

however- i FLEW during the workout.

now, i treat the stuff with a little more respect.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:40 PM   #8
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I need my cuppa joe in the morning and that's it. It's a big damn cup o' motor oil, though.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:55 PM   #9
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I should stop, but I can't. I'll take coffee "vacations" every now and then, but I have yet to kick it for more than 60 days.

It's not the worst vice. The crit day drug of choice is several cups of coffee in the morning, and then 1/2 to a full red bull around 30 minutes before I toe the line. It makes me antsy and eager to go fast.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:26 PM   #10
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the data I've seen indicates that caffeine is of pretty limited value as a performance enhancer.

And the bump in performance only works if you don't routinely consume caffeine. Not worth it to me to give up coffee.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:34 PM   #11
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I like my coffee and tea.

About once a month I end up going on an energy drink binge (I like the SoBe Better For You Energy variety).
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Old 03-05-08, 08:42 PM   #12
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My coach says that caffeine isn't bad before a race as long as it isn't paired with sugar (which will make you cramp).
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Old 03-05-08, 08:52 PM   #13
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the data I've seen indicates that caffeine is of pretty limited value as a performance enhancer.

And the bump in performance only works if you don't routinely consume caffeine. Not worth it to me to give up coffee.
You dont have to give it up for good, just for 3-4 days before your event. I have done some tests over the winter and was quite suprised at how much benifit cutting caffeine out for 5 days or so before an event can have. When you take that first sip on race day its feels great!
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Old 03-05-08, 08:57 PM   #14
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If I don't have caffeine I tend to get headaches. So, usually I have some a couple cups of coffee in the morning and maybe a coke in the late afternoon afternoon.

I drink a lot of tea in the summer, so that keeps my caffeine intake at the right level without adding those pesky calories.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:01 PM   #15
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depends on the circumstance. I will have a cup of coffee in the morning to wake up a bit. I will drink tea throughout the day though. Keeps it real interesting.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:06 PM   #16
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I've always heard it helps your body draw more energy from fat instead of glycogen.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:15 PM   #17
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a cup of coffee in the morning is crucial.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:16 PM   #18
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I wake up to coffee, and have done so since freshman year in college. But, I don't really go out of my way to have it before rides. Don't like the diuretic effects. If anything, I'll have a double or triple espresso. More caffeine, less volume.

I have taken a caffeine pill twice before a race, mostly cause I couldn't be bothered to drink coffee before the race and the drive to the race involved less than 3 hours sleep. Not sure it did much, but in my n=1 experiment, I made it to the podium both times and had great races.
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Old 03-06-08, 06:39 AM   #19
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"Glycogen is the principal fuel for muscles and exhaustion occurs when it is depleted. A secondary fuel, which is much more abundant, is fat. As long as there is still glycogen available, working muscles can utilize fat. Caffeine mobilizes fat stores and encourages working muscles to use fat as a fuel. This delays the depletion of muscle glycogen and allows for a prolongation of exercise. The critical time period in glycogen sparing appears to occur during the first 15 minutes of exercise, where caffeine has been shown to decrease glycogen utilization by as much as 50%. Glycogen saved at the beginning is thus available during the later stages of exercise. Although the exact method by which caffeine does this is still unclear, caffeine caused sparing in all of the human studies where muscle glycogen levels were measured. The effect on performance, which was observed in most experimental studies, was that subjects were able to exercise longer until exhaustion occurred.

In addition to the beneficial effects on muscle, caffeine may alter the perception of how hard you are working. During testing, athletes are asked to judge their effort, which is referred to as the rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Some studies have yielded significantly lower RPE's -- less fatigue -- when the athlete used caffeine. Other studies have not found this effect. Obviously, the RPE is very subjective, and there are many things that may influence it."


I have also read that it doesn't have the same effects if you already digest a lot of caffeine. What I try to do is limit my intake in the days prior to an event then take in more than what I normally do a few hours before my race. I haven't noticed any adverse side effects (ok maybe a bit more jittery) and I don't know if it really helped overall. I've read that some coaches want their athletes to take up 600mg a few hours before a race. Just for the reasons stated above. I'm not sure if I want to go to that extreme.
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Old 03-06-08, 08:16 AM   #20
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I drink lots of coffee in the morning, and usually a good-sized cup in the afternoon when I start dragging.

Sometimes, sometimes, I get a little crazy and have coffee after dinner. I still find it easy to fall asleep, though.
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Old 03-06-08, 08:19 AM   #21
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Never, it puts me in the emergency room. Caffeine is one of my triggers for complex migraines. I haven't had any caffeine in seven years. I quit that the same time I quit smoking three packs a day. Quit them both cold turkey.
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Old 03-06-08, 08:22 AM   #22
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I've drastically cut my caffeine in daily life so that I can drink it before races and have the best effect.
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Old 03-06-08, 08:27 AM   #23
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i rarely if ever drink caffeine.
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Old 03-06-08, 09:14 AM   #24
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Never, it puts me in the emergency room. Caffeine is one of my triggers for complex migraines. I haven't had any caffeine in seven years. I quit that the same time I quit smoking three packs a day. Quit them both cold turkey.
Wow, I don't know which of those was harder to quit. Well, probably smoking.... but I gots to have my morning cup of coffee.

My drug-despenser of choice is the Senseo - a single cup coffee pod machine. Most days I have just one cup. This gets me going... but is probably just habit. However, it's not enough to build a high tolerance. I drank a espresso double shot before my first crit last weekend and was flying high.
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Old 03-06-08, 09:14 AM   #25
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Soda in the AM and as I usually ride in the AM, before a ride. I'll take caf'd gels on brevets (don't race) and will often down a Pepsi or some such beverage at a controle if I don't have a gel.
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