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Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so here’s my question. I’ve found that when I don’t have coffee prior to training, I have trouble getting my HR as high as when I do. Off by about 15-20 bpm. Since caffeine is a stimulant, I guess this makes sense.

Which way is better to train? Common sense tells me the non-caffeinated way is the best. But, what about the fact that my HR is higher when I drink coffee? If we train to increase the capacity of our bodies to function at a higher HR does training at an artificially elevated HR help? Or does it have the opposite effect, were the caffeine helps the heart pump faster without adding the requisite strength?

Also, keep in mind that 90% of my rides involve me having coffee prior to getting on the bike and my body thanks me for it.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Metalheadbikerider
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Coffee....

Shmack said:
Ok, so here's my question. I've found that when I don't have coffee prior to training, I have trouble getting my HR as high as when I do. Off by about 15-20 bpm. Since caffeine is a stimulant, I guess this makes sense.

Which way is better to train? Common sense tells me the non-caffeinated way is the best. But, what about the fact that my HR is higher when I drink coffee? If we train to increase the capacity of our bodies to function at a higher HR does training at an artificially elevated HR help? Or does it have the opposite effect, were the caffeine helps the heart pump faster without adding the requisite strength?

Also, keep in mind that 90% of my rides involve me having coffee prior to getting on the bike and my body thanks me for it.

Thanks for the input.
is a training requirement, for me. Pound some coffee and use RPE in addition to HR. Training without coffee is kinda like mtb rides without post-ride beers, what's the point? :D
 

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Sweep the leg!
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How much Caffeine are we talking about? It could be how you're brewing it too. Without getting into all my coffee snobbery I think the easiest way to determine if Caffeine is influencing your heart rate would be to abstain for a month. If you are Caffeine Free for 30 days and maintain the same training schedule you would be able to see if the current workout is influenced by the ingestion of Caffeine. There are other influences on your HR, but by eliminating one influence you could determine how it influences your workout HR with more validity.

Good luck, and maybe someone with more definitive information may chime in. But I gotta say this in summary...

COFFEE GOOD
 

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Unless you are a pro, making money from riding, do what you like and what feels best... There is no way I'd skip coffee in the morning even if it meant a place or two in an age grouper category that means nothing to anyone but myself anyway...
 

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Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is really no way I would consider skipping coffee in the am on a regular basis. Cutting it out for 30 days is also not an option.

I'm just curious as to the effect it has on my HR when I'm training. If I could train without the coffee and then see a benifit from drinking it on race or hard days, I would consider this. Although, I can only really cull it from training rides and not groups rides.

Thanks for the input though.
 

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Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
mtnbkr33 Thanks for the article, this pretty much tells it how it is!

Good stuff!
 

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Waiting for Godot
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caffiene is great for train, bad for nutrition. it robs you of vitiams and is a diuretic.

so feel better while working out and less after or motivate yourself without and recover better. your choice.

i do without as i have a high metabolism and energy is never a problem as long as i eat.
 

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Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can I offset the vitamin and water loss with a good recovery program?

I have a pretty busy life schedule, 2 kids and a 50+ hour work week, so energy/motivation prior to working out is tough more often than not.
 

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My view on the matter is that many of the fastest riders in the world both road and mountain drink coffee and regularly, check out some photos of euro roadies on long training rides chilling at coffee shops in Italy and Spain half way through. On the mountain bike side Geoff Kabush is an avid coffee drinker on race day and not. So.... I drink up and just finished a mug myself before long hours in the saddle.
 

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Good post. I've done quite a bit of testing recently with caffeine (in the form of coffee), and here is what I have found. I think every individual is different so as always, it is best testing for yourself ;)

- RPE is definately lower
- Increased Motivation to get on the bike (biggest plus IMO)
- Actual performance times don't seem to be much different (perhaps pill form would be different?)
- Increased max HR if training soon after ingestion (1-2hrs)
- Suppressed/lazy HR if training several hours after ingestion (e.g 5pm workout, drank coffee at 10am - think this is due to the compounds in coffee)
- Sleep not as "deep", and slight groggyness in mornings
- Don't seem to recover day to day quite as well
- Can promote hunger several hours after ingestion (perhaps due to increased metabolism?)
- I get sore knees during training with it if I don't watch my calcium intake (weird?!!)

Last year I decided to quit drinking coffee/anything with caffeine as part of cleaning my diet up. I never took anything with caffeine all season aside from the odd gel during a race. Although it was by far my best season ever, I don't think it was due to the lack of caffeine in my diet. It was the focused training that gained the results. This year, I may try using it in moderation. It is certainly a great motivation tool - racing a whole season at Elite level last year without the stuff left me feeling fairly wiped out and low on motivation at times (although I resisted the temptation to reach for the caffeine fix). Although, I always found that once I got on the bike, the motivation issues soon went. I know one thing for sure, Coffee tastes great in the mornings, especially after a nice bowl of oatmeal! (I take mine black - no milk/sugar) :)
 

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Waiting for Godot
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kstatman said:
My view on the matter is that many of the fastest riders in the world both road and mountain drink coffee and regularly, QUOTE]

yeah and look at old pics of euro riders smoking and drinking wine before and after rides. its all subjective on how effeicient you want to be reletive to what your body can achieve. we are not fast euro racers.

shmack,

it would be tough to offset with vitamins as your body will only absorb a certain amount per hour and only a small percentage of total vitamins taken. alot of those hugh numbers get flushed down the toilet.

food, diegested slower gets a higher rate of vitamin absorbsion, but has a lower amount to start off with. doing both will help, but the price of all that bother is up to you. i think caffiene is not worth the damage it can cause. there are other health risks as well. how important is your addiction to caffiene?

ok, i just reread that and most peoples addiction to caffiene is important to them. the question should be, what is more important, "better health/faster on the bike" or "caffiene addiction".
 

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Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
smithy, when you cut out caffeine, did you go through a slow period, especially in terms of HR training, before you could get back to normal?
 

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Shmack said:
smithy, when you cut out caffeine, did you go through a slow period, especially in terms of HR training, before you could get back to normal?
Shmack - the first day of quitting I felt kind of "washed out" but as I remember there were no problems with HR training. I recall being on the turbo that night and thinking "this isn't much different after all". I was only drinking probably 3 cups a day though. To be honest I didn't really feel any negative withdrawl symptoms - aside from the fact that my mood is less of a grumpy/aggressive nature without the stuff. That isn't really a bad thing when you are on the bike though ;)
 
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