Friday, October 14, 2011
Caffeine: the wonder drug
Known in the chemistry world as trimethylxanthine coffeine theine mateine guaranine methyltheobromine (phew!), caffeine can lend a hand to help you get through some of your most gruelling workouts. It acts as a stimulant to increase your muscle reaction time and cognitive reflexes. Research has shown that caffeine can delay fatigue, reduce muscle pain during exercise, and lower your ‘perceived exertion’ making workouts feel easier. In addition to that, other research shows that having caffeine in your post workout recovery drink can help rebuild your glycogen levels faster than one without it. So, faster muscles, thinking and recovery? I’ll take it!
Methods of intake
While my weakness is a double mocha with extra chocolate, I prefer to get my fix through gels. Each gel contains around 20 – 40mg of caffeine (roughly the equivalent to 1/5 of a cup of coffee) and acts as the perfect pick me up. I have only used gels during long runs and during my half marathon. During the TOU half, I took one about 10ish minutes before the start, then at mile 4 and I think mile 8 or 9.
Upon researching a little more I think I should be taking it 45 minutes into my run and then every 30 minutes after. My personal favorite is Espresso Love by Gu.
There is a common misconception that caffeine dehydrates you faster than a package of beef jerky with a salt lick chaser. You actually need close to 550mg – about five cups of coffee worth – to affect your hydration levels. As long as you’re taking in electrolytes and some good old H2O, you should be able to caffeinate without a problem.
(I took alot of this from this website: http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/this-machine-runs-on-caffeine/)