Gotta love that caffeine

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by grahamspringett, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

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    Courtesy of Australian Associated Press:

    Coffee is for making mornings more tolerable, but is it making them less painful?

    A US study into the effect of caffeine on cyclists found those who took a pill containing the stimulant reported less muscle pain, ensuring they could exert themselves for longer.

    The study took in 25 fit men who were put through a series of different intensity trials on a stationary bicycle.

    The riders abstained from caffeine for 24 hours before the tests and they were then given a nondescript tablet - either a pill containing the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee or a placebo.

    Oxygen consumption, heart rate and their work rate were monitored as the cyclists were also quizzed on their "perceptions of quadriceps muscle pain" during the trials.

    "We've shown that caffeine reduces pain reliably, consistently during cycling, across different intensities, across different people, different characteristics," said Professor Robert Motl of the University of Illinois.

    The riders were also selected to represent heavy coffee drinkers - an intake of three to four cups daily or 400 milligrams of caffeine - and those who drank little to no coffee.

    Prof Motl said this was designed to show whether a higher tolerance to the stimulant would, as anticipated, dull any other effect the caffeine could have on the riders.

    "What we saw is something we didn't expect - caffeine-naive individuals and habitual users have the same amount of reduction in pain during exercise after caffeine," he says.

    "If you regularly consume caffeine, you have to have more to have that bigger mental-energy effect but the tolerance effect is not ubiquitous across all stimuli."

    Prof Motl said the caffeine was known to affect the adenosine neuromodulatory system in the brain and spinal cord, and this system was heavily involved in pain processing.

    The study was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

    Prof Motl, a former competitive cyclist, said the research would come as no surprise to the many cyclists who have a coffee before a gruelling training ride or those people who down one on the way to the gym.

    "I think a lot of people are taking caffeine before a workout and they don't realise the actual benefit they're experiencing," he said.

    "That is they're experiencing less pain."
     
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  2. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Is it April 1st in Australia already? :) Be on the lookout today... just saying.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Caffeine is a common substance in the diets of most athletes and it is now appearing in many new products, including energy drinks, sport gels, alcoholic beverages and diet aids. It can be a powerful ergogenic aid at levels that are considerably lower than the acceptable limit of the International Olympic Committee and could be beneficial in training and in competition. Caffeine does not improve maximal oxygen capacity directly, but could permit the athlete to train at a greater power output and/or to train longer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11583104
     
  4. simplyred

    simplyred New Member

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    Interesting, I found this: Link

    The study only focuses on anaerobic exercise though - so maybe in a block of VO2/L6, caffeine may actually be beneficial... really though - RPE is one thing, physical ability is another. This shows is that we are usually capable of more than we're willing to give...
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I've either drank coffee before early morning time trials (5am to 9am was common in England for summer starts on some faster courses) and before recent training sessions as I'm up at 4.45am to goto work and can't start training until 6.30pm. Whether the caffeine really provides a true increase or whether it's because I'm more alert I'm not sure. But I can tell if I don't get a good strong cup 'o joe...
     
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