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Coffee effects

ElfedElfed Posts: 459
edited August 2015 in Training, fitness and health
I know coffee has a big part in cycling but I've noticed that if I drink too much my it elevates my HR.

Before I went for a 38 mile ride the other day I'd had two cups in the morning and another before leaving at 4pm. Whilst riding I noticed my HR was reading way higher than usual on any incline and was reaching my limits way way quicker than usual, with my average HR being about 15 beats higher than usual for the ride, plus I was a lot more tired the next day.

I've been twice after and avoided coffee and things were back to normal, much better endurance and far less tired.

Is this the required effect that cyclists desire from a coffee to help get the HR up and thus train harder?

I will be avoiding too much coffee if planning a ride but would appreciate someone explaining the merits or pitfalls of using the stuff.

Posts

  • KheSanhKheSanh Posts: 62
    Are you sure you weren't tired? Maybe give it another couple of goes and see what effect it has.

    I don't think Caffeine elevates my heartrate, not that I've noticed anyhow. It's seems good for the last couple of hours of a long ride as you don't notice the aches and pains as much.
  • ElfedElfed Posts: 459
    Are you sure you weren't tired? Maybe give it another couple of goes and see what effect it has.

    I don't think Caffeine elevates my heartrate, not that I've noticed anyhow. It's seems good for the last couple of hours of a long ride as you don't notice the aches and pains as much.

    Definitely not tired. I've noticed I don't ride well on Saturday afternoons and for a couple of years I haven't been able to understand why.
    It's only in the last couple of weeks I've realised it could be coffee as I go for a breakfast in the morning and usually have three cups over the 90 minutes I'm there.
  • ElfedElfed Posts: 459
    Are you sure you weren't tired? Maybe give it another couple of goes and see what effect it has.

    I don't think Caffeine elevates my heartrate, not that I've noticed anyhow. It's seems good for the last couple of hours of a long ride as you don't notice the aches and pains as much.

    Maybe avoid pre ride or just one cup is the answer then.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,696
    people have different reaction/tolerance to caffeine, and the amount of caffeine in a given unit of prepared coffee varies wildly according to how it's made, blend, grind, time, pressure etc.

    fwiw i stick to espresso, usually a double, generally this isn't the high caffeine hit that some think, and i'm ok having many during the day, but it depends on the preparation, from some cafes the caffeine content in a double espresso is dramatically higher, i avoid these as i don't like the resulting buzz
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • RutlandGavRutlandGav Posts: 144
    I go through fantastic amounts of caffeine on my work days, but it's to maintain mental focus not to have physical "go". On my last day at work, 12 hour shift, I drink six cans of sugar free monster. Was in bed by 7.30 that evening, must have been tired. I'm principally a desk flyer but sometimes help out down in the warehouse, then i run on pure water.

    I prefer to train without caffeine. Jitters, needing to pee, diuretic effects, messed up electrolyte balance, blood sugar swings, it just feels better without. But sometimes finding both shoes/remembering how to don a pair of cycle shorts gets hard without a morning coffee. It's more a get me out the door thing. Even on an 8 hour ride, i don't top up caffeine on the bike.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Too much coffee gives me palpitations, so there's clearly an effect on my heart rate. I know it's harmless but it feels horrible, so I try to avoid overdoing it.

    Our eldest son is even more sensitive to it and restricts himself to one cup a day. Since he moved back home the cupboard's filled up with various decaffeinated concoctions. I prefer tea anyway.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I go through fantastic amounts of caffeine on my work days, but it's to maintain mental focus not to have physical "go". On my last day at work, 12 hour shift, I drink six cans of sugar free monster.

    Jeez - six cans ? Is that wise/healthy ? Dont they have a health warning on them ?
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I'm a total coffee addict - on my second cup now. I tried cutting down following some generic advice I got from a gym MOT type thing, made my resting HR drop 5bpm which took me down to about 32-33, which for me starts having side effects.

    I've cut from about 12 cups a day to around 6. I don't get withdrawal though, just light headed from the drop in HR. I've not found negative effects on cardio though, in fact I'll usually pre-load with a cuppa before doing anything hard.
  • RutlandGavRutlandGav Posts: 144
    RE : Jitters

    Apparently the Taurine which is also included in energy drinks, has little or no stimulating effect but may act to counteract the caffeine jitters. This resonates with my experience, as I've never had jitters from drinking energy drinks, but it's very easy to overstep the mark with coffee.

    Jeez - six cans ? Is that wise/healthy ? Dont they have a health warning on them ?

    I've been to the doctors a few times about the generalized fatigue/daytime sleepiness that's gradually worsened since my teenage years. Drawn a blank so far. Had a sleep apnea theory last year, but i've lost a load of weight since due to the cycling and things haven't improved. Giving up caffeine would mean giving up working - or at least, finding a manual job that requires no mental focus at all.

    The effects on heart rate etc. I must have built up a tolerance to. When i'm maneuvering the bike out of the shed on the way home from work, my HR is typically in the low seventies, similar to how it is on a caffeine free day off ride. HR tends to be significantly higher on the day off rides, perhaps because i'm not mentally exhausted, perhaps because i'm going somewhere scenic, whereas while commuting it's a struggle to get over 120, though my legs sometimes feel like they're on fire.
  • neilo23neilo23 Posts: 783
    The guy from the local body building supplement shop gave me some free samples of pre-workout body building powders to try. Called something like "Total war body burning thermo killer bombs" with 300mg of caffeine and lots of other "healthy" sounding stuff. I tried 2 different makes on 2 different days and didn't notice a thing. The cup of coffee I had today before my ride had a more noticeable effect.
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