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Old 12-11-04, 01:05 PM   #1
JaredMcDonley
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metabolism of caffeine - lets talk damage...

I am an 18 year old college student who loves coffee. I worked as a barista one summer and have been hooked on coffee, rather espresso. I also ride a good amount. It commute to school about 18 miles round trip a day and try to work in some additional ridding when I have time. I do a regular amount of MTB on Saturdays.

As for my drinking, I drink about 1-2 espresso's a day. I try to combat the dehydration effects with lots of water.

Another thing is, how bad is it to have coffee the day of a race? I for some reason run better but I am sure it does not help with good hydration and all that.

I also give plasma for money and to help out my local hospital. I go twice a week and it gives me a chance to check my weight, pulse, blood pressure and all those good things. I have almost always a pulse around 95! How bad is that? MY resting rate is good around 45ish.

Any ideas how much damage I am doing to my body? Any suggestions, other than give something up?
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Old 12-11-04, 01:14 PM   #2
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There's nothing wrong with plasma donation, provided that the hospital is not violating the guidelines as outlines by the NIH or by their local health board. There is a waiting period that must be met in order for someone to donate, because that's supposed to be the amount of time it takes for plasma to rebuild in the body. You can do yourself a favor by ensuring that you are drinking enough water to support your plasma donations. At least a liter a day would be nice, but 64- 128 oz a day would be best.

For coffee, it can dehydrate, so the same concerns would apply. Just make sure you're getting enough water so that you're not dehydrated from drinking coffee.

I don't think drinking the amount of coffee you specified is so bad. There are nations of coffee drinkers that drink much more than that, and they turn out wonderful professional cyclists. If I could IV coffee, I'd have a permenant shunt put in so I can have it directly injected into my veins!

Rock on, coffee drinker!

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Old 12-11-04, 01:21 PM   #3
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Whoops. About coffee drinking the day of the race... I don't see a problem with it. However, it does dehydrate, so you have to make sure you're drinking enough water. Also, you have to remember that caffeine is a diuretic, which may affect your racing if you're feeling like you have to pee more often! So you may want to limit your caffeine intake before a race. I hate decaff, because I don't see the point of drinking coffee if there isn't caffeine in it, but if you're just craving taste, try that before a race and lay off the caffeine before your race.

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Old 12-12-04, 07:57 AM   #4
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Just curious, what do you do for a living, Koffee brown?
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Old 12-12-04, 11:13 AM   #5
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I read somewhere on the web that the diuretic effects of coffee were due to the caffein preventing absorbtion of water. So drinking more water to counter-act the dehydrating effects of caffein would only result in increased urination.

On the other hand, I read somewhere that if your body becomes acclimated to the caffein, then this diuretic effect is lessened.

Think there's any truth to that? I don't really know where to look for authoritative answers to this kind of stuff, and you can't believe everything you read on the web, that's for sure.
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Old 12-12-04, 02:12 PM   #6
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You OK Koffee? You're looking more and more pissed-off. Unless that's your kick-ass game face. Personally I love coffee, but more than one cup on an empty stomache wigs me out. I don't drink it on race day. No one else I know has that problem. It's just me. I'm beginning to think Koffee's real name is Kendra Wenzel, or something like that.
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Old 12-12-04, 02:37 PM   #7
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I dont really have a problem with coffee, I love the way it tastes, the only thing that bothers me is that it pumps up my HR like 5 or 10 beats when I'm using the HRM. hills that I would climb at 165 would be 175 at the same level of perceived exertion and speed. its not a big deal just kinda screws with me a bit.
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Old 12-12-04, 03:50 PM   #8
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Who told you coffee was damaging your body?
Tom
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Old 12-12-04, 06:51 PM   #9
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I just teach aerobics class and coach cyclists.... that's all.

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Old 12-12-04, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phatman
I dont really have a problem with coffee, I love the way it tastes, the only thing that bothers me is that it pumps up my HR like 5 or 10 beats when I'm using the HRM. hills that I would climb at 165 would be 175 at the same level of perceived exertion and speed. its not a big deal just kinda screws with me a bit.
That's the problem with coffee. It's a stimulant, so you'll see an increase in HR at a given intensity, even at rest. It's also a diuretic, so it will dehydrate you if you don't consume enough water during the day. Depending on how much coffee you drink, you may need to alter that for races or throughout training - depending on how you respond to it in races, etc.

On the other hand, coffee has been shown to promote fatty acid metabolism, which will actually spare muscle glycogen and may improve performance. But then you go back to the diuretic effects and the increased HR response. So it's like a double-edged sword. If you enjoy drinking it, then I wouldn't recommend against it, but I would just figure out if that HR response bothers me enough to decrease my consumption of coffee on certain days.
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Old 12-12-04, 08:28 PM   #11
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I read about a study that found that although coffee, tea, and caffeinated soda are diuretics, you still get more hydration from them than you urinate. If you think about it, there are plenty of people who drink only these items yet do not die of dehydration.

Sorry, but it's been quite some time since I read about the study so I have no references.
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Old 12-12-04, 08:32 PM   #12
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Don't quote me on this one but I've read in many fitness mags that latest research on diuretic effects of coffee shows that it is very mild diuretic... (IIRC, even Bicycling mentioned it also)...

I think where people make a wrong assumption is that "caffeine is diuretic" (which is true), so coffee has to have diuretic effects too, since it contains caffeine... What many disregard is that coffee also has plenty of water...

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.


The above quote is from here...


Coffee Lovers: Don't Worry About Dehydration

Last edited by rich007; 12-12-04 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 12-12-04, 10:19 PM   #13
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It depends on how much caffeine is in the coffee. An expresso will definitely have more caffeine than a normal cup of coffee. A cup of Starbucks coffee will have more caffeine than a cup of Foldgers. A cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee will have more caffeine than a cup of Starbucks. If you drink more coffee, you will feel more of the effects of caffeine.

And here are studies saying caffeine is a diuretic:
http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/health-.../caffeine.html
http://personalbestnutrition.com/cgi...num=1102385617 (shows both sides of the dehydration issue)
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psycho...ine_sports.htm
http://www.teahealth.co.uk/th/facts/7.htm
http://www.roble.net/marquis/caffeine (specifically addresses caffeine and cycling)

I could give more... but this is a good start.

Fact is, if you're using a pro-coffee website to find evidence of negative effects of caffeine, do you really think they're going to trot out reasearch that's negative towards the very product they are trying to promote?

I'm all for coffee. But I do think if you're going to consume it, you'd better follow through with drinking enough coffee to counteract the amount of water you drink. I think a lot of the studies out there may err in that the majority of people do not drink enough water everyday that they should be consuming. Then they enter a study that requires them to drink more water, and suddenly, they're in the toliet all day, then studies conclude that people who drink 80 oz of water vs. 80 oz of coffee are in the toliet the same amount, so coffee just CAN'T be dehydrating, since water produces the same result. But the error is that when someone does suddenly increase the amount of water they drink, they are going to initially end up in the toliet a lot until their body becomes more efficient at utilizing water. I started drinking a gallon of water everyday, and initially, I was in the bathroom like every 15- 20 minutes. It was a drag. But as I became more used to drinking that much water, I was in the toliet a lot less. Now, it's like once an hour or so. But then again, if I drink more coffee (I usually make a pot of about 5- 6 cups of coffee with my coffee beans I brought back from Italy and Switzerland, so it's unroasted, which gives me more caffeine), I'm back in the bathroom every 12- 20 minutes. So I don't drink coffee every single day. Only when I have the withdrawals... lol!!!

You'd have to give a stronger example of "fitness" magazines other than "Bicycling", which is not considered even close to a fitness magazine in the fitness community (check with ACE, AFAA, ISSA, and NCSF for real fitness magazines. They'll have the serious research on what factors affect fitness.

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Old 12-13-04, 03:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggy18
I read somewhere on the web that the diuretic effects of coffee were due to the caffein preventing absorbtion of water. So drinking more water to counter-act the dehydrating effects of caffein would only result in increased urination.

On the other hand, I read somewhere that if your body becomes acclimated to the caffein, then this diuretic effect is lessened.

Think there's any truth to that? I don't really know where to look for authoritative answers to this kind of stuff, and you can't believe everything you read on the web, that's for sure.
Sort of. That would be, "re-absorption" of water in the kidnies. Yes he'll pee more. But more water is still better.
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Old 12-13-04, 06:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich007
Don't quote me on this one but I've read in many fitness mags that latest research on diuretic effects of coffee shows that it is very mild diuretic... (IIRC, even Bicycling mentioned it also)...

I think where people make a wrong assumption is that "caffeine is diuretic" (which is true), so coffee has to have diuretic effects too, since it contains caffeine... What many disregard is that coffee also has plenty of water...

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.


The above quote is from here...


Coffee Lovers: Don't Worry About Dehydration

At lower amounts, such as 300mg/day the caffeine doesn't affect hydration status much, but at higher levels, and much more regular consumption of these levels I would still worry about the effects of caffiene. Plus, there's a dependency that can develop from this because it is, technically, a drug, and some racers can start to want the effects of caffiene all the time. One of the studies says that moderate caffeine consumption causes diruesis similar to that of water, but they talk about water consumption in large amounts, so that's a given, but to say that coffee is as good to rehydrate with as coffee just doesn't make sense. But it's like anything...moderate consumption is fine. Overdoing it is bad.
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Old 12-13-04, 06:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
As a layman here, one thing that bugs the heck out of me, is the consistently contradictory nature of these studies. Who the heck can you believe, for goodness sakes? For example:

Vanderbilt Study: "This reflects the belief that caffeine has the ability to create more forceful muscle contractions."

PBN Site: "Caffeine has not shown any benefit on power and strength."

(And I think a cup of espresso actually has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.)
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Old 12-13-04, 06:54 AM   #17
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Whoops, thanks for the spelling correction. I must have had too much ESPRESSO.

I think espresso has like three times the amount of caffeine. It's REALLY strong. One hit of espresso gives me the jitters for like an hour. Perhaps your coffee shop doesn't make it strong enough? Demand a refund!

Studies are always contradictory. I swear, they are looking for a solution to support their thesis, so they'll always slant their results (well, mostly... except the honest ones!). You don't want to put yourself out of business!

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Old 12-13-04, 07:18 AM   #18
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There is some evidence that caffeine increases the amount of fat in the blood stream which some feel is good as it increases body's readily available fuel for endurance sports. A trained cyclist will burn a relatively high percentage of fat even even during a long race which is good as it stretches the glycogen supply.

High levels (dependent on the individual) will cause some to become hyper and interfere with their patience and concentration. It can interfere with sleep at night. I have that problem so I have to keep the amount low and eliminate any caffeine after about noon.

It will also cause irregular heartbeat in some; you miss a beat now and then. A friend of mine had to give up coffee because of it.

It's addictive, so it's difficult for most to give it up.

Except for the above, there appears to be no real health risk to ingesting moderate amounts of caffeine. However, your 95 heart rare seems high for a youngster unless it's measured relatively soon after you've ridden. I'm 65 and rarely see that rate unless I'm doing something strenuous (resting 58 and max 177). I also return pretty quickly to sub 95 levels even after strenuous ride.

It would be worth checking to see if this is unusual.

A lingering high heart rate is sometimes an indication of over training or not enough rest.

Al
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Old 12-13-04, 08:12 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the comments!

I have really loved reading some of the studies, but they seem a little bias in some cases.

I have pushed up my water intake and now that exams are over, i get to sleep and am keeping better track of diet. That really helped with heart rates. Now it is something like 80 average. Which is much better.

I went out on a mock race the other day to try out what a good shot of espresso will do to me on a race day and I really liked it. My endurance seemed best it has been in a while. Again this also I know is realated to how much more sleep I have been getting. My heart rate got high in parts but nothing to out of the normal for when i do my normal trains on those parts.

Great seeing all the posts.

-jared
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Old 12-13-04, 08:40 AM   #20
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How about coffee/caffeine being a vasoconstrictor? this would cause an increase is ischemia yeilding less endurance. any coments on this?
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Old 12-13-04, 10:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggy18
As a layman here, one thing that bugs the heck out of me, is the consistently contradictory nature of these studies. Who the heck can you believe, for goodness sakes? For example:

Vanderbilt Study: "This reflects the belief that caffeine has the ability to create more forceful muscle contractions."

PBN Site: "Caffeine has not shown any benefit on power and strength."

(And I think a cup of espresso actually has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.)
Just goes to show you that there aren't any perfect studies out there yet. There are always limitations that either cannot be controlled for or are disregarded in a particular study. Because of this, the use of caffeine has to be evaluated on an individual basis and we cannot make any blanket statements regarding its use at this time.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:26 AM   #22
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Ah coffee: Black as night, hot as hell, and sweet as love....

1 or 2 shots of espresso a day?!? I though you said you liked coffee. Man, if I could get a job in a coffee house, it'd be 1 or 2 shots an hour.

Seriously, for most people generally and athletes specifically, caffeine is harmless.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:43 AM   #23
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It isn't damage, it's HEALING, baby! Yeah!
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Old 12-13-04, 12:33 PM   #24
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Just curious, what do you do for a living, Koffee brown?
She's Secretary of State, jeez don't you read the papers? Congrats on the promotion from National Security Advisor too. Condoleezza Rice is an impressive lady, arguably the highest-ranking woman ever in American politics? Maybe Ruth Ginsburg, but the Supreme Court isn't quite as political. I guess some senators and governors too. Well, arguably anyway. And Ms. Rice's dream job's pretty cool too, being NFL commisioner.

Speaking of caffeine and the NFL, (nice segway), I read ex-all pro linebacker Chris Spielman used to take, like, 20 Vivarin before a game (Vivarin=3 cups of coffee). He'd be out of control during games. That's a good thing for an NFL linebacker. NHL players routinely drink coffee/expresso before games. I always have a pot of coffee before I play hockey. It's a great pick-me-up, and makes one more alert. But of course, these sports are more anaerobic than bicycling. In Bob Roll's last book, he says, "Coffee isn't just a drink, it's a food group". So I think pro bikers might indulge just a little bit too. But I'm biased. I'm Ivan, and I'm a cofeeholic.
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Old 12-13-04, 01:26 PM   #25
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Just curious, what do you do for a living, Koffee brown?
Actually, I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her....

Sooooo... Shut up. Just shut up.....You had me at hello. You had me at hello.




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