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Coffee and Endurance

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
http://www.snowshoemag.com/view_cont...content_id=293

This is sometimes a controversial issue? What has been your experience?
post #2 of 20
I drink a cup of coffee before all my workouts. But I really load up before endurance events (running or mountain bike racing). Red Bull works quite well for me but I only take it for races or the occasional training session.

Even though I drink 2-3 coffees per day, the caffeine that I take for training or racing has very positive effects for me.
post #3 of 20
It's hit and miss for me.

Ask any roadie, any they'll sing praises to espressos...

I had a bad one, on a long mountain bike ride. Starts with a hard, 10km climb.
I had had a big, strong coffee just before the ride. My heart rate was through the roof... by the time I reached the top, I really thought I was going to have a heart attack.
Same thing happened with RedBull once. Long cross country ride, nearly died.
And I do ride a LOT.
So, I'm doing everything I can to avoid caffeine on long rides/workouts.

If I give it time to break down (the caffeine, that is) - different story. Better endurance, better performance overall.

RedBull is only for when I hit the DH parks now...
Although I was told I shouldn't have it... :

So, anything that doesn't get my heart rate up, like lift assisted skiing or biking - let the RedBull and espressos flow! It actually improves my performance a lot.

If it's highly aerobic/anaerobic - no caffeine for me.
post #4 of 20
for me I've been hit or miss as well. I'm typically not very sensative to caffiene, however, because of that, it is easy to "over do" the caffiene levels and I have dealt with caffeine overdoses (shakes and inability to concentrate seem to hit first, then nausea and then the cold sweats) and they are no fun. Also, many times that you have just a bit too much caffeine, over some time it can have adverse effects by causing a crash.
post #5 of 20

double blind study

if you really want to find out for yourself, have your friend make quadruple expressos , sometimes using decaf. you may be surprised to find that the placebo effect is stronger than the caffeine effect. i was.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
if you really want to find out for yourself, have your friend make quadruple expressos , sometimes using decaf. you may be surprised to find that the placebo effect is stronger than the caffeine effect. i was.
I soo believe this is true.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ro.nin View Post
I soo believe this is true.
That's funny.

d_w's test doesn't, of course, account for theobromine effects so it is in no way a true placebo control group test.

I prefer my caffeine in Excedrin form as coffee or soda + exercise all too often equals heartburn.
post #8 of 20
That would depend on the brand of decaf. Many brands' decaf actually contain caffeine, some, more than you think. Few have none.
post #9 of 20
Personally I felt a 1/2 cup of coffee got me going for long training runs and seemed to improve stamina. In theory, the diuretic effect can be counterproductive if you take it in excess. I never drank that much of it though.

I wanna say it was Bill Rogers, who used to drink a Coke at Newton hills running Boston Marathon to get through the big push.
post #10 of 20
The GU I use during marathons has some caffeine, but not close to a solid Starbucks cup. Coffee is great to wake me up on a slow afternoon at work, but I've never used it before running or racing. I'd be too worried about the post-caffeine crash letting me down at an inopportune time.
post #11 of 20
I love my coffee but the diuretic effect really gives me lots of trouble. I think the benefit of being optimally hydrated during exercise (I run ~5 miles a few days a week) far outweighs whatever marginal performance gain (this is for fitness/recreation, not competition) caffeine may or may not give me.

I make a small thermos ~17 oz of coffee every morning which empties me out, bladder wise. Then during the afternoon I have 1-1.5 liters of water to make sure I'm hydrated enough to either exercise or booze in the evening.
post #12 of 20
sheesh - a small thermos of 17 oz of coffee? My how things have changed - a cup used to be considered 6 oz. When I said 1/2 cup I meant like a mouthful around 3 oz
post #13 of 20
I have been a habitual coffee drinker since I was old enough to sit on my daddy's knee and sip his coffee. I have always had excellent endurance. People I did karate with could not believe how long I could continue fighting while delivering full-power techniques. I could go hours on the heavy bag too, a kind of moving meditation I had fun with on Saturday afternoons. My legs were also stronger than people twice my weight. Was it the coffee? Nah, I think it's genetics. Sometimes in the evening I will have a cup of coffee and promptly fall asleep in front of the tv.
post #14 of 20
btw - I am the same way (Swedish grandmother and family had something to do with it . As a small child I started (probably age 3 or 4) dunking donuts in coffee on Sunday mornings. Every day coffee in the morning and afternoon. Probably got some endurance genes from my grandfather too - he was a big pursuit bike racer years ago.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
http://www.snowshoemag.com/view_cont...content_id=293

This is sometimes a controversial issue? What has been your experience?
There's evidence that coffee (maybe just caffine or another coffee-derived component) can enhance athletic endurance.

I would drink a cup or two prior to all of my races. If nothing else, it would help stimulate a bowel movement. nothing wrong with that if you're about to embark on a long distance adventure, eh?
post #16 of 20
If I need a "boost" to get thru, say an early morning cardio session, I prefer to take a supplement rather than drink coffee as liquid in my stomach makes me cramp & have to pee........
post #17 of 20
Coffee is really acidic and it likes to get the colon working if you know what I mean. When I drink a lot of it I regret it later no matter how much it may have perked me up. Red Bull works too but the cough syrup taste sometimes is annoying.

I would suggest trying yerba mate if you need a stimulant that you can drink.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramshackle View Post
Coffee is really acidic and it likes to get the colon working if you know what I mean. When I drink a lot of it I regret it later no matter how much it may have perked me up. Red Bull works too but the cough syrup taste sometimes is annoying.

I would suggest trying yerba mate if you need a stimulant that you can drink.

If coffee effects you like that, then you dont drink enough of it. I drinl a mug ever morning or my colon won't start working at all if you know what I mean .

Seriously though, I usualy try and have some carbs with my coffee, and not hit the trail directly after drinking it, but it sure helps my days get moving... in many ways.
post #19 of 20
god- this forum must be old - people are talking about their colons now....
post #20 of 20
I pop a (generic) vivarin after lunch at the slopes and it carries me through the rest of the day. Works with mountain biking too.
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