Caffeine & Sport
David Costill exercise physiologist published his research on the effects of caffeine on cyclist.
Cyclist has been using caffeine for many years. Do not forget caffeine does not benefit everyone.
Caffeine affects the central nervous system
Most people find that a bottle/can of coke with the same amount of water is the correct ratio for optiumn performance.
The more you have caffeine the more you need to create a benefit. Everyone is different for some people it can make the heart beat quicker for others it can make them nervous for others it can wake them up make them alert.
Caffeine is a diuretic if the athlete/cyclist does not also drink enough water can become dehydrated in hot weather.
Caffeine can help during exercise because it improves free fatty acids metabolism which results in less glycogen glucose and amino acids being depleted so you can last longer because you have more fuel. Higher blood sugar levels allow for better mental concentration which results in better motivation.
Please note that better coffees are lower in acid so can help when you have exercise induced digestive problems, they also have higher caffeine amounts and they last longer compared to cheaper alternatives.
Ground coffee is usually better than instant or canned.
Caffeine can be additive & you may get withdrawal symptoms including head aches irritability or lethargy.
Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should limit their caffeine intake.
Dark chocolate can contain amounts of caffeine.
Ben & Jerry coffee ice cream
Jelly Belly extreme sports beans
Gels and sports bars may also contain caffeine
May have caffeine varieties
Coffee too numerous to mention.
Caffeine amounts of drinks
Coca Cola (12oz) 35mg
Diet Coke 47mg
Pepsi (12oz) 36-38g
Mountain Dew 54g
Sprite –caffeine free
Sierra Mist - caffeine free
7-Up – caffeine free
Monster Red Bull Relentless and many brands that market themselves as caffeine
Caffeine patches have also been used to keep awake in some sports.
Pro Plus tablets
Too much caffeine can cause anxiety irritability & restlessness.
Caffeine is considered an ergogenic (Energy generating) stimulate for endurance sports. It also stimulates the brain.
It is absorbed from the stomach and intestine and peak blood levels are between 45 & 60 minutes after ingestion.
The following can increase with the effects of caffeine – blood pressure rises, increased pulse rate, increase stomach acid production, increased amounts of fat stores broken down.
How long can caffeine work for.
It can keep working in the body for up to 12 hours.
If you continue having regular caffeine for up to 72 hours the body gets use to the stimulant & becomes more tolerant and the affects are not as noticeable and caffeine is less effective.
If you have an ulcer caffeine can make it worse.
Insomnia (poor quality of sleep)
Caffeine seems to be most effective in long endurance events.
Caffeine can cause diarrhoea in ultra distance events
During a multi day endurance event caffeine ingested 30 minutes before starting or resuming a session can be very beneficial to help you use fat stores and save your limited amount of glycogen.
Consider refraining from caffeine in the 3-7 days before your competition so your tolerance decreases.
My health warning
Caffeine is mildly addictive, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. You may experience withdrawal symptoms when you decrease or eliminate the caffeine in your diet. Withdrawal symptoms include headache, sleepiness, irritability and lethargy.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should limit their caffeine intake,
I am not supporting performance enhancing drugs but I have used caffeine during ultra distance triathlons.
You must decide
I cannot be responsible for you taking caffeine or branded product that contain caffeine because quantities can vary from country to country & sometimes even regionally. Taking any ergogenic aid will have its benefits to some and be negative to others. Be aware of the health risks.