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  1. #1
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    coffeeless commute

    I was told by a NOLS instructor not to drink coffee on cold days when you plan to be outside a lot because it constrict the blood flow. This will make your fingers and toes colder than they need to be. It's tough but I went w/out this AM and I felt fairly warm. Fingers and toes were no problem. Temps were around 11F/-11C I did fire up the coffee pot when I walked in the door at work. Give it a try. Charlie

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    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    I was told by a NOLS instructor not to drink coffee on cold days when you plan to be outside a lot because it constrict the blood flow. This will make your fingers and toes colder than they need to be. It's tough but I went w/out this AM and I felt fairly warm. Fingers and toes were no problem. Temps were around 11F/-11C I did fire up the coffee pot when I walked in the door at work. Give it a try. Charlie

    I don't buy that for a minute.

  3. #3
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    I thought caffiene had the opposite effect. I'm pretty sure it doesn't constrict blood vessels.

  4. #4
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    The other problem with caffeine is it dehydrates you.
    Water water water water water.....
    2008 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
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  5. #5
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2create
    The other problem with caffeine is it dehydrates you.
    Water water water water water.....

    Nope.


    Coffee and Dehydration--Urban Myth
    The logic goes like this: Diuretics cause dehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic. Coffee contains caffeine. Hence drinking coffee causes dehydration. The flaw in this logic is that coffee is NOT mostly caffeine, it is mostly water. The water provides hydration, while the small amount of caffeine has negligible or no effect. Many studies have shattered the myth about coffee and dehydration, but a recent thread in the newsgroup aus.bicycles showed that the scientific evidence apparently has not have reached everyone. Again, note the importance of distinguishing between the beverage of coffee, and the substance of caffeine; the small amount of caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, but it does not somehow eliminate the hydration effect of the large amount of water, or, according to several of the studies, diminish it at all. It is a shame that some people are giving up all the health benefits of coffee based on an urban myth. There are too many studies to list them all, but I've included some of them below.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...8&dopt=Abstract
    Investigations comparing caffeine (100-680 mg) to water or placebo seldom found a statistical difference in urine volume. In the 10 studies reviewed, consumption of a CB resulted in 0-84% retention of the initial volume ingested, whereas consumption of water resulted in 0-81% retention.

    Wow, now it looks like caffeine increases hydration!


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    http://www.diet-coaching.com/QOMMay2.html
    Q - Iíve heard that drinking tea and coffee is bad for you as they promote dehydration and so should be avoided by athletes as they harm performance. Is this true?

    A - I commonly hear this question asked and the usual reply, by a well meaning person, is that tea and coffee are diuretics (lead to body water loss), contain Ďtoxinsí or that you have to drink equivalent volume of water to counteract their water-losing effects. If this were true, Great Britain would be holding fewer medals at World and Olympic level! Sometimes dietary advice persists in nutrition based on anecdotal evidence, voodoo science and myth. Conclusions are drawn on topics that seem Ďobviousí or logical and yet have not been subjected to the rigor of scientific appraisal. Professor Ron Maughan and accredited sports dietitian, Jane Griffin, recently reviewed the scientific evidence to look at the commonly held view that tea is a diuretic and that that normal tea drinking habits are associated with poor fluid balance.

    The bottom line is that there is no evidence base in the scientific and medical literature for the commonly quoted idea that all caffeine-containing drinks should be avoided in situations where fluid balance is, or might become a problem.


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    http://www.flp-aloevera.co.uk/water_benefits.htm
    The way it's almost always stated, in books, magazines and newspapers, the 8-by-8 rule specifically discounts caffeineated beverages, such as coffee. This is flat wrong. Caffeine does cause a loss of water, but only a fraction of what you're adding by drinking the beverage. In people who don't regularly consume caffeine, for example, researchers say that a cup of java actually adds about two-thirds the amount of hydrating fluid that's in a cup of water.


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    http://content.health.msn.com/conte...icle/1668.51096
    "For years, newspaper and magazine articles have repeated the notion that caffeine is dehydrating as if it's absolute fact," says University of Nebraska researcher Ann Grandjean, EdD. But in a study published in the October 2000 Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Grandjean and her colleagues at the Center for Human Nutrition showed that it's pure fantasy.

    The researchers looked at how different combinations of water, coffee, and caffeineated colas affected hydration levels in a group of 18 men between the ages of 24 and 39. During one phase of the experiment, the only fluid the volunteers consumed was water. During another, 75% of their intake was caffeineated.

    "Using almost every test ever devised to measure dehydration, we found no difference at all," says Grandjean.

    The full study can be found at: http://www.jacn.org/cgi/reprint/19/5/591.pdf


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    http://www.gatech.edu/news-room/arc...optenmyths.html
    "Recent research points toward the equivalent of about two or three cups of caffeineated beverages having little or no diuretic effect."


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    http://www.minnesotagardener.com/ar...ions/000209.htm
    Unfortunately, the hydration issue got wrapped up in other issues like sugar content, aspartame side affects, phosphoric acid vs. bone calcium and caffeine; valid issues but nothing to do with hydration. Caffeine is another debunked issue. The old argument was that caffeine is a diuretic so it defeats the hydration. Recent studies have shown, however, that its diuretic effect is much less than previously thought and people who regularly drink caffeineated drinks show little affects from it. I know thatís true for me. An excerpt from the drKoop.com web site:

    In the newer study, 18 healthy young men drank either water alone or water plus other beverages including coffee and caffeineated colas in assorted combinations. The researchers found that urine volumes had not varied according to whether the subjects had consumed caffeineated or non-caffeineated beverages. They said the reason their findings differed from those of the earlier study was probably that their subjects had regularly consumed caffeineated beverages daily until the experiment. Other investigators have likewise suggested that the body adapts to caffeine intake so that eventually it has little or no effect on water losses.


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    http://www.globalpinoy.com/pinoyhea...lth_fitness.htm
    But studies like the one published in the 2000 Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that if you are a habitual coffee drinker, you retain practically all the liquid in every cup of coffee you drink because your body has adjusted to the slight diuretic effect of caffeine.

    If you are not used to drinking coffee, your body will retain only two-thirds of every cup you drink but this is a far cry from the negative fluid loss that once was believed. Other studies have found that two to three cups of coffee a day has little effect on dehydration but six cups or more will lead to a 3 percent loss of body water.

    Alcohol, meanwhile, is truly dehydrating because the body needs water for your liver to metabolize all that tequila you just drank. However, studies found that one drink won't harm you and diluted alcoholic drinks like beer can count as a fluid replacement as long as you drink moderately.


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    http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20...trunc_sys.shtml
    Finally, strong evidence now indicates that not all of the prescribed fluid need be in the form of water. Careful peer-reviewed experiments have shown that caffeineated drinks should indeed count toward the daily fluid intake in the vast majority of persons. To a lesser extent, the same probably can be said for dilute alcoholic beverages, such as beer, if taken in moderation.


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    http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/diet...hen.water.otsc/
    We've all heard that caffeine is dehydrating. However, we've talked to a couple of experts who point to studies that say, you know what, when we look at it, people get just as hydrated from caffeineated beverages as they do from decaffeinated beverages. So of course you don't want to drink just caffeineated beverages all day, but if you have a cup of coffee in the morning and a cup of tea in the afternoon, you can count that as some of your water -- some of your water intake.


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    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/livi...shealth_10.html
    Myth: Drinking coffee, caffeinated drinks or alcohol in hot weather causes you to lose extra fluid. Coffee's not the best bet for a hot day, but it won't dehydrate you.

    People buy into this one because caffeine-spiked drinks are diuretics ó hey tend to make you urinate. But drinking a cold Coke or an iced cappuccino wonít cause you to pee out much more than drinking the same amount of water. Just go easy on the frosty six-packs; alcohol has a much stronger diuretic effect than coffee or cola. Sports drinks and beverages that contain sodium are your best bets for hydration on a hot day, because sodium helps your body retain fluid.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hopefully the myth of coffee and dehydration will someday die, but I'm not holding my breath. There are a lot of well-intentioned, but ignorant, people that are intent on perpetuating it.
    [edit] [reply w/ quote] [reply]

  6. #6
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    I don't buy that for a minute.
    I wasn't selling. My advice is free to all. I can't speak for the diuretic affects of coffee(tho' I can attest that it make me piss a lot more). BUT my statement was the reduction of blood flow. Caffeine is a well-known cerebral vasoconstrictor. This is why migraine sufferers drink small amts. of coffee at the onset of a headache....to reduce the flow of blood in their head. Seems to me that this can only reduce blood flow to the fingers. Thus making them colder.
    Using myself as an experiment. Today I didn't drink coffee before my ride, fingers were not cold. I drank coffee when I got to work and had to pee a lot. Thus coffee is a vasoconstrictor and a diuretic. I know more studies are needed but it worked for me.
    Whether coffee is a diuretic or not does not affect the morning commute. I don't think I get hypothermic nor dehydrated on a 10 mile commute. Charlie

  7. #7
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    I wasn't selling. My advice is free to all. I can't speak for the diuretic affects of coffee(tho' I can attest that it make me piss a lot more). BUT my statement was the reduction of blood flow. Caffeine is a well-known cerebral vasoconstrictor. This is why migraine sufferers drink small amts. of coffee at the onset of a headache....to reduce the flow of blood in their head. Seems to me that this can only reduce blood flow to the fingers. Thus making them colder.
    Using myself as an experiment. Today I didn't drink coffee before my ride, fingers were not cold. I drank coffee when I got to work and had to pee a lot. Thus coffee is a vasoconstrictor and a diuretic. I know more studies are needed but it worked for me.
    Whether coffee is a diuretic or not does not affect the morning commute. I don't think I get hypothermic nor dehydrated on a 10 mile commute. Charlie
    Coffee has no effect on my feeling cold or not, therefore, i know what you are saying is not true for me.
    It just sounds like you have bad circulation.

  8. #8
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    Coffee has no effect on my feeling cold or not, therefore, i know what you are saying is not true for me.
    It just sounds like you have bad circulation.
    My first post said my fingers and toes were comfortable today at 11F/-11C I'm thinking my circulation is pretty good....but I'm no doctor

  9. #9
    Senior Member umpadumpy's Avatar
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    After 23 years, I have more coffee in my system than blood...
    "Somewhere in the world, someone is quoting something you don't even remember saying."

  10. #10
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    I used to have a pretty serious coffee habit. I LOVE the stuff, it's great. But when I started bike commuting I had to stop. Despite what the science apparently has to say, I found that if I drank nothing but coffee all day I would be incredibly thirsty and dry mouthed by the end of the day and felt terrible on the way home. So now I drink plenty of water to stay properly hydrated. I'll have just a cup (well, 16 or 20 oz cup, but whatever) in the morning and water the rest of the day.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    I found that if I drank nothing but coffee all day I would be incredibly thirsty and dry mouthed by the end of the day and felt terrible on the way home.
    Well, duh! And a bit jumpy, perhaps?

    I have one cup after I get to work, and I'm pleasantly wired for the day. Gotta have that one cup, and it has to be good coffee (not the office dirty water).

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    Well, duh! And a bit jumpy, perhaps?

    I have one cup after I get to work, and I'm pleasantly wired for the day. Gotta have that one cup, and it has to be good coffee (not the office dirty water).
    I make my own and never share. One cup by 10 am or none at all. I find it actually makes me kinda sick after 10am which is odd considering the things that caffiene is in that don't cause me problems.

    And NO STARBUCKS!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    And NO STARBUCKS!!!!!
    except in DIRE emergencies? Better not start this thread...

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    except in DIRE emergencies? Better not start this thread...
    Nope. Rather drink motor oil. I'm very loyal to my local coffee shop (I don't buy it brewed there, just the beans.)

  15. #15
    contre nous de la tyranie
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    my statement was the reduction of blood flow. Caffeine is a well-known cerebral vasoconstrictor. This is why migraine sufferers drink small amts. of coffee at the onset of a headache....to reduce the flow of blood in their head.
    Cafine is a vasoconstrictor to all parts of the body. That's why one is more likely to get frostbite after drinking coffee. The most powerful cerebral vasoconstrictor is TV, as evidenced by all the stupid children.

  16. #16
    contre nous de la tyranie
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    Alcohol, meanwhile, is truly dehydrating because the body needs water for your liver to metabolize all that tequila you just drank. However, studies found that one drink won't harm you and diluted alcoholic drinks like beer can count as a fluid replacement as long as you drink moderately.
    I know, from personal experience that when one beer goes in, three come out. Then again I don't drink any piss, like Coors! Alcohol is particularly dangerous because it impairs judgement, deadens pain, and is a vasoconstrictor( making you loose more heat than normal secondary to the greater blood flow to the extemities and close to the skin. As any serious drinker knows, it is also a big time diuretic, reducing total blood volume, in the end. The big danger with drinking and then going out into the cold is that you can become hypothermic.

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    Hey Balto Charlie where abouts in Btown, and the "commute".
    I am over near Paterson Park, and have a five mile one way commute.
    Do you commute when it snows?
    One more thing did you go to NOLS?

  18. #18
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oknups
    Hey Balto Charlie where abouts in Btown, and the "commute".
    I am over near Paterson Park, and have a five mile one way commute.
    Do you commute when it snows?
    One more thing did you go to NOLS?
    Hey Steve (I recognize the sig)this is Charlie from rockclimbing. Where have you been? Haven't seen you post in a long while. Still climbing? My commute is from home to the train(5.5 miles) then from the train to work 3 miles. Charlie

  19. #19
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    I thought about this for a minute, then left out this evening with my 20 oz cup of LAVAZZA. I was good.

    Koffee

  20. #20
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Coffee may ****** blood flow to the hands and feet, but not near as bad as nicotine! I'm amazed at how much warmer my hands and feet stay in general since I quit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  21. #21
    jfz
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    After reading all the health benefits of coffee consumption, I must now find a way to take it with me on my bike!

  22. #22
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    No coffee?? What's next....pie?

  23. #23
    Volvo (Latin: I roll)
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    I willingly gave up cigarettes a couple of years ago. Coffee? Never. They will have to pry my coffee pot from my cold, dead, vasoconsticted fingers!

  24. #24
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    Coffee is the sweet, dark, mother...mmmmm

  25. #25
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    wait a minute folks, I never said give it up. I know I can't stop drinking it. But I don't drink BEFORE a very cold morning ride but immediately after, for sure.

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