Think about drinking your coffee or tea this morning. Within about 30 minutes your mood and alertness picks up. For most of us, it’s why we have a cup or two. On the other hand, the more coffee we drink we have to urinate more frequently. From an exercise perspective, an important question is whether any potential water loss from caffeine intake might counteract any positive effect on increased energy output that might be gained from caffeine consumption. The research indicates that about 180 mg/dose of caffeine is the level to consume prior to an event to help boost performance with endurance activities and sprints lasting about 5 minutes. This will give the added energy, yet not compromise water loss. This is equivalent to two tea cups of regular plain drip coffee with blood caffeine levels peaking in 1-2 hours.
From a sport fairness stand, it can be argued that caffeine should not be ingested as it qualifies as a performance enhancing drug. By rights, it is. However, it is not tested for in sporting events.
I certainly do not recommend kids taking caffeine in this manner. Just too many risk factors and unhealthy habits that can develop. Don’t do it!
I have to admit that I do have coffee every morning. If it happens to coincide with a race or sporting event, so be it. I do not use caffeine with the intent of performance enhancement.
With regard to alcohol, it is not recommended pre-exercise or post exercise. It significantly dehydrates. In fact, post exercise alcohol consumption prolongs the 12 hours it normally takes to re-hydrate. Alcohol has no benefit in an athlete’s regular conditioning protocol. Perhaps an occasional drink, but that’s it.
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