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  1. #1
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    Caffeine + Endurance Sports

    I was sent an article about caffeine, and how best to use it during an endurance event. It's a 6-page Word file written by four cycling-tri coaches/dieticians/pros. I will be happy to send it to whomever wants to read the whole thing. Just PM me with your e-mail address. – HT

    Excerpt:
    For years athletes have been using caffeine in various doses to improve their performance. Everyone knows that a strong cup of Java gives you that alertness and sense of extra energy. Drink three cups of leaded Starbucks coffee and you'll feel like you want to run a marathon! So…does the caffeine simply make you want to run that marathon or does the caffeine actually help you finish it faster?
    Many professional endurance athletes use caffeine to enhance their performance. Prior to 2004, caffeine was banned by the US Olympic Committee, World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and US Anti-Doping Association. The level at which caffeine was banned was 12mcg/ml in urine, which requires about 1,200 mg of pure caffeine or 8 cups of strong coffee. However, this decision was reversed in 2004, allowing the use of caffeine in elite level sports.
    Based on the literature, the dose required to elicit an ergogenic effect is much less than the level banned (3 - 9 mg·kg-1 body mass which is approximately 225-675 mg for a 75 kg athlete). There is some controversy surrounding the lifted ban since caffeine does have some ergogenic properties but it can also be dangerous if abused. Back to running the marathon: caffeine can help you run it faster, but only if done correctly, so let's talk about who can benefit from caffeine and how it can be properly used.


    More on...
    • Thermogenic Properties
    • Tolerance/Withdrawal
    • Diuretic Effects/Dehydration
    • Study of Cyclists
    • Recommendations: Amount, Form and Timing
    Last edited by Happytime; 05-23-07 at 10:23 AM.

  2. #2
    no more nellie
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    Dante can weigh in on this too (and much better than I can) but caffeine is purported to help us asthmatics. My PS recommended not only carrying Albuterol and taking my Foradil in the morning first thing, but to have a good strong cup of joe before getting on my bike. In the smog-filled air out here, every little bit helps. Plus, none of you would want to ride with me if I didn't drink caffeine before riding as no caffeine = *****y M.E.

    Thanks Joy for the info.

  3. #3
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    Dopers

  4. #4
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    I like this part:

    Caffeine mobilizes free fatty acids (FFA) in the blood. Increased FFA in the blood allows the body to use fat as a fuel source. The use of fat as fuel allows the body to spare glycogen (carbohydrates) for later use in exercise.

  5. #5
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indolent58
    Dopers

  6. #6
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Dante can weigh in on this too (and much better than I can) but caffeine is purported to help us asthmatics. My PS recommended not only carrying Albuterol and taking my Foradil in the morning first thing, but to have a good strong cup of joe before getting on my bike. In the smog-filled air out here, every little bit helps. Plus, none of you would want to ride with me if I didn't drink caffeine before riding as no caffeine = *****y M.E.

    Thanks Joy for the info.
    I'm a risk taker ... what will happen with no caffeine ... could be quite entertaining.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  7. #7
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happytime
    I like this part:

    Caffeine mobilizes free fatty acids (FFA) in the blood. Increased FFA in the blood allows the body to use fat as a fuel source. The use of fat as fuel allows the body to spare glycogen (carbohydrates) for later use in exercise.

    Perhaps I should drink MORE coffee? Or just take it intravenously.

  8. #8
    Whateverthehell Chucklehead's Avatar
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    i tend to suffer from major boredom on longer rides, so a can of coke or red bull always seems to help me concentrate and get to the finish.
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci

  9. #9
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    Coffee is not optional. However any performance enhancing effects are probably offset by the hot coffee+cold morning=pitstop effect.

  10. #10
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    I like caffeine for my bike rides, but not in coffee form... Coffee = me having to find somewhere to pee like 30-60 minutes into the ride. I'll take it in my energy gels or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  11. #11
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    This is a dumb question ... but doesn't caffeine dehydrate you? Also, coffee makes me go to the bathroom, and makes me go pee almost immediately after starting the ride.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  12. #12
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spingineer
    This is a dumb question ... but doesn't caffeine dehydrate you? Also, coffee makes me go to the bathroom, and makes me go pee almost immediately after starting the ride.
    Red part = question
    Green part = answer

  13. #13
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson
    Red part = question
    Green part = answer
    And together it = yellow.

  14. #14
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    And together it = yellow.
    Indeed (for emitted light)

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the article, Joy. I knew there was some benefit from all the posing I've been doing all these years at Starbucks. Therefore, I will continue to pose over a couple of cups of cafe negro...

  16. #16
    Senior Member nygirl777's Avatar
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    I pose with Coke cans.
    All men hear is blah, blah, blah, blah, SEX, blah, blah, blah, FOOD, blah, blah, blah, BEER, blah, blah, blah, BIKES.

  17. #17
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nygirl777
    I pose with Coke cans.
    Or better yet, get those red hot Coca Cola water bottles to match your bike. This way you can pose while riding...

  18. #18
    Senior Member nygirl777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix
    Or better yet, get those red hot Coca Cola water bottles to match your bike. This way you can pose while riding...

    What a great idea ... pose ...ride....drink coke....and pose some more.
    All men hear is blah, blah, blah, blah, SEX, blah, blah, blah, FOOD, blah, blah, blah, BEER, blah, blah, blah, BIKES.

  19. #19
    Whateverthehell Chucklehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix
    Or better yet, get those red hot Coca Cola water bottles to match your bike. This way you can pose while riding...
    i had some of those back in the 80's. where can i find them now?
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci

  20. #20
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucklehead
    i had some of those back in the 80's. where can i find them now?
    Jason, I don't know where you can buy them but I can ask the Coke truck driver about them the next time I see him. I see the big Coke truck every week next to where I work.

  21. #21
    Whateverthehell Chucklehead's Avatar
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    that would be awesome. thanks!
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci

  22. #22
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    How does the bottle look like?

  23. #23
    Whateverthehell Chucklehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSANYYZ
    How does the bottle look like?

    it's the same design you see on a coke can, but printed on a water bottle.
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci

  24. #24
    Member of Team Wheaties! octico's Avatar
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    Bicycling Magazine just had an article on this same topic. It's a short a story.
    "Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
    Sir Winston Churchill

  25. #25
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spingineer
    This is a dumb question ... but doesn't caffeine dehydrate you? Also, coffee makes me go to the bathroom, and makes me go pee almost immediately after starting the ride.
    Coffee is really not that much of a diuretic as people think. Do a test where you drink 2-3 cups of water within an hour and sit around and see what kind of peeing you get. It's the excess liquid you're taking in that causes the peeing, and to a lesser extent, the caffeine itself.

    However, when you're exercising and your water-intake requirements goes up, the water from energy-drinks or coffee is used to replace that which you sweat away and the kidneys never extract that water as excess. So if you start riding right after the coffee, you won't have any additional need for pitstops.

    But the actual glycogen-sparing effect really isn't that big a deal really. I'll bonk in about 3-hours or 50-60 miles without eating. With caffeine, I might make it an additional 10-miles, not that significant. Regular ingestion of energy-drinks and food will extend your endurance much, much further than caffeine. However, if you're doing an event where you're limited in the amount of food you can eat, or if eating upsets your stomach (like running a marathon), then yes, that little extra bit of distance might be covered by the caffeine.

    Another effect I've notice that wasn't discussed is pain-tolerance. Being a stimulant, it increases levels of adrenaline and epinephrine in the body. These lessens the sensations of pain in the brain. This will help stamina as you won't be feeling as much hurt for the same efforts, such as riding at LT in a TT. When doing sprints & intervals, I find that the pain-masking actually helps me push for that extra couple of seconds before quitting.

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