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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-17-08, 09:33 AM   #1
wfrogge
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Riding improvements after quitting caffeine cold turkey

All my life I have been a heavy cola drinker. Everyday I would have at least 4 *and sometimes up to 8* 16oz colas a day. Sometimes regular but mostly diet drinks.

Monday I quit all caffeine drinks cold turkey and cut down my artificial sweetner drinks to 2 per day max * 1 Sprite zero and 1 glass of sugar free Kool Aid*. I am still having withdrawl but think I can fight it out. Headaches are damn bad though.

Also I have had a hard time hittnig LTHR on the indoor trainer but since qutting caffeine drinks Monday *Tuesdays workout as first test* not only can I hit LTHR my HR is recovering faster and at a much lower BPM. Example.... My LTHR is 185. When I do a 20 minute interval on the trainer I can now get my HR up to 185 and hold it there for the entire interval. About a minute after this interval my HR used to drop to the 125BPM range but now its around 105-110 BPM! My guess is my on the road LTHR must be higher than 185 now that im off caffeine. Need a little warmer weather so i can get a real test in.

Just food for thought for all the caffeine users out there. There might be some huge gains if you quit.

Last edited by wfrogge; 01-17-08 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:40 AM   #2
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huh

your mileage may vary.
check back in when your temporary results stabilize
and go back to normal

without caffeine the world is a cold dark place where demons live.
caffeine only boosts my performance, as long as the delivery system
doesn't make me puke. (coffee too close to race start...etc.)
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Old 01-17-08, 09:43 AM   #3
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no low level headaches or general dowsiness? i didn't quit cafeine, but i lowered my intake to one cafeinated beverage per day about 3 years ago and i had a heck of a time adapting for about 2 months.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:57 AM   #4
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no low level headaches or general dowsiness? i didn't quit cafeine, but i lowered my intake to one cafeinated beverage per day about 3 years ago and i had a heck of a time adapting for about 2 months.
For the first two days it felt like somebody was hitting my head with a baseball bat and I felt drowsy all day. Just dont see a point of trying to ween off a drug when you can get it over with.
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Old 01-17-08, 10:05 AM   #5
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caffeine is one of the most, if not the most used, drug in the world. It is so widely used that it is difficult, if not impossible to figure out what its true effects are--can't find a suitable control group.

Don't forget there are other things in there that could be affecting you that you cut out of your diet, such as artificial sweetners. And it has only been a few days, too.
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Old 01-17-08, 10:42 AM   #6
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I didnt cut out artificial sweetners as I drink one Sprite Zero and a glass of non sugar Kool Aid. Caffeine is the only change I have made. Training load, food intake, etc have been the same for 4 months now.
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Old 01-17-08, 10:45 AM   #7
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Just food for thought for all the caffeine users out there. There might be some huge gains if you quit.
I know crazy talk when I hear it.
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Old 01-17-08, 10:53 AM   #8
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I just quit caffeine today as well. I have done it many other times for stretches lasting a few months, the things I notice are improved memory and concentration. As well, I do not need as much sleep, and I wake up refreshed. It is the damn caffeine headaches that drive me nuts, but after a week they go away. I have quit many habits and drugs, but the hardest one for me to quit for good is caffeine.
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Old 01-17-08, 01:22 PM   #9
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For you guys that quit - now you can benefit from a fairly massive performance boost mid-ride if you take a caffeinated gel.

Last weeknd my wife "gave up" coffee while she had the stomach flu. She had massive stomach pains AND a massive headache.

massive massive massive Think I'll use it again. massive
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Old 01-17-08, 02:13 PM   #10
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he's massively correct. one coffee now and it keeps me massivley awake for two days.
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Old 01-17-08, 03:12 PM   #11
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I am not, and was never addicted to caffiene. I never drank soda more than twice a month. I can tell you however that besides regulating your system by quiting, when you really do need a pick me up, you can count on caffiene to do it (race time). If i have the tiniest bit of caffiene i go crazy.
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Old 01-17-08, 03:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edzo View Post
huh

your mileage may vary.
check back in when your temporary results stabilize
and go back to normal

without caffeine the world is a cold dark place where demons live.
caffeine only boosts my performance, as long as the delivery system
doesn't make me puke. (coffee too close to race start...etc.)
Exactly. Caffeine is my only remaining recreational drug. There's no way I'm giving it up.
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Old 01-17-08, 03:59 PM   #13
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Exactly. Caffeine is my only remaining recreational drug. There's no way I'm giving it up.
What theres plenty of stuff you can take.

Nicotine, Alcohol, or just tell your doctor you "hurt" somewhere im sure there is a drug he can give you.
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Old 01-17-08, 04:00 PM   #14
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I am not, and was never addicted to caffiene. I never drank soda more than twice a month. I can tell you however that besides regulating your system by quiting, when you really do need a pick me up, you can count on caffiene to do it (race time). If i have the tiniest bit of caffiene i go crazy.

That was my goal of quitting to begin with
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Old 01-17-08, 04:06 PM   #15
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I quit caffeine after I broke my ankle. You would think that oxycotin could get rid of a caffeine headache, it can't. Anyway I've made it a point to not go back to the caffeine fulltime after that.
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Old 01-17-08, 05:00 PM   #16
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Take away my morning coffee and folks get hurt. Take away the soda and I dropped 10 pounds nearly instantly. Modest caffeine intake is pretty harmless, though.
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Old 01-18-08, 08:43 PM   #17
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I quit my modest two cup a day habit a few years ago. I had a nasty cold, and I was taking decongestants at the time. As good as a cup of coffee would have felt, I knew the combo of caffeine and decons would have kept me up all night. So I quit the coffee, since I was going to be miserable for a few days anyway. It was essentially a three day withdrawal period.

Benefits for me:
- I got off that physiological/emotional roller coaster. Sleep bad, wake up groggy, hyper after the first cup, crash after lunch, hyper after second cup... That alone was worth it!
- Sleep is greatly improved.
- As mentioned above, when I do need to stay awake (like for driving alone late at night, which I end up doing quite often for my non-cycling hobby), a little caffeine is EXTREMELY effective.

But I do miss the flavor , the aroma, the ritual. That's only partially satisfied by a cup of decaf.

Bob
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Old 01-18-08, 09:58 PM   #18
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Some of us are very sensitive to caffeine. I won't say exactly, except that blood in the urine and not being able to do #1 is not pleasant.

No caffeine in ANY form for many years. No sodas either - they are not good for your bones, for one thing.

Even decaf contains a bit of caffeine,

Same thing with anything containing ephedrine or antihistamines.

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Old 01-18-08, 10:01 PM   #19
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I don't drink any caffeinated beverages, except a can of pop a week. Reading all of this really discourages me wanting to drink coffee. Being the type of person who is alert a minute after they wake up, I guess I won't need it anyways.
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Old 01-18-08, 10:31 PM   #20
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Your attributing everything to the lack of caffeine. But with a typical diet of 8 sodas a day, id say your body is going through withdrawl of a whole slew of chemicals.

Myself, i cant live without my matcha tea and coffee
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Old 01-19-08, 12:45 PM   #21
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i once quit caffeine for two years. ended up getting more benefits starting back up on it than quitting,.
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Old 01-19-08, 05:03 PM   #22
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There are numerous double blind studies out there that show that caffeine has major performance benefits, especially in endurance sports. It's believed that one of caffeine's major effects is to spare glycogen, thus enabling the athlete to go harder for a longer period.

There are also numerous studies that show the effect of caffeine being reduced by frequent consumption. I never use it before a workout, only before or during a hard group ride or event. You'll get a bigger bump by quitting or cutting back to just one cup in the morning for a month before an "A" event. And never drink sodas of any sort, except maybe a cola during a ride.
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Old 01-19-08, 05:28 PM   #23
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No way

I was raised in coffe, not only coffe but heavy thick tarish espresso coffe. I have had a cup of "cafe con leche" every day for the last 39 years ( assuming my mom started when I was 4) I take a whole cup of the best colombian coffe, made in a (greca) better know as percolator or caffettiera, and I ride like a jet, on the weekend races I carry a little children tylenol bottle full of very concentrated coffe for the sprint dont know what is the withdrawal you mentioned, I usually have a cup in the morning and thats it, no sodas of any kind. I quit many other things but i stay with my cup of tar

JAVA
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Old 01-22-08, 04:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
All my life I have been a heavy cola drinker. Everyday I would have at least 4 *and sometimes up to 8* 16oz colas a day. Sometimes regular but mostly diet drinks.

Just food for thought for all the caffeine users out there. There might be some huge gains if you quit.
Most diet sodas don't have any caffeine. Are you sure you are not experiancing some placebo effect? The fact that a know performance enhancer (caffeine) seemed to hold you back makes me wonder what really happened. Maybe something else changed?

Remember 1 person's experience does not make a study. I have read so many people claim they make improvements based on switching the brand of whey protein they take. They claim huge gains based on a weeks data that happened to come along with something they changed. So many things effect your performance that even with a scientifically controlled study you often can't draw conclusions.
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