Can we still take coffee before a long run during the aerobic phase?
I know Lance likes his 2 cups of coffee before a ride from a interview
I can't verify that story about Mark Allen.
The thing about caffeine is that it can be a double-edged sword,
depending on what state of body you are in. It's a natural aid to fat-burning,
which is good for running. A coffee before a run will kick start the fat-burning
process quite nicely. There are all sorts of articles and studies about this. Dr.
Phil writes about it somewhere. When it might not be a good thing, according to
his treatise on overtraining (read here) it is suggested to stay off caffeine.
Probably because caffeine affects the adrenals. Sometimes, shot adrenals are part
of the overtraining syndrome. If you are in a chronic state of stress, where you have
too much cortisol shooting through your body on a daily basis, caffeine might add to
Putting sugar and milk in the coffee might negate any benefits. I'm not sure. And there is
always the pee-stop possibility if coffee has that effect on you.
Here are a few links to help you make a decision for yourself:
A NYT State of buzz
This is a timely topic. I just gave up coffee two weeks ago. I was drinking about 5 cups per day (or more). I generally drank it all day at work to give me a boost because so much of my work is at my desk on the computer.
When the weekend came around, I had to have coffee first thing when I woke, or I would have headaches. I found myself always thinking about when I would have another cup of coffee. I was definitely addicted.
So, about two weeks ago, I got sick with strep. I could not eat for a few days, and I was very sick. Once I started getting better, I decided that I would not pick up the coffee habit again. I had the headaches and took lots of tylenol. I was also recovering from the illness and I was on antibiotics.
So, naturally, I could not run. That was the worst part. About a week later, I stupidly did a long run and it was too much. So, now it is another week later and I still do not feel right. I am no longer on antibiotics, so it is not them. I suspected that they were not making me feel right, and that is defintely partly true.
But, it was mostly the caffeine withdrawel. I am definitely still experiencing it. And, it has definitely affected how I feel running now. My legs just have no pop or bounce. It feels like I am starting all over again. And now I suspect that chemically, my whole body needed the caffeine, not just my head. I definitely feel it is metabolic.
I used to attempt to run early in the morning before eating. And it was a hard experience. I had the same feeling in my legs. Back then I thought it was the lack of food. Now, I am convinced it was the lack of caffeine.
I am really glad I am doing this. At work now, I feel a bit lethargic, but I feel much more even. Along with the coffee, was the cream and sugar, and the snacks I ate with it. So, I am hoping I stick to this, because I know it the long run, it will be good. But, I definitely miss the boost it gave to my running and to my alertness.
This is a timely topic. I just gave up coffee two weeks ago.
I am finally feeling back to normal.
When multiple things are going on (recovering from illness, taking antibiotics, and giving up coffee), it is hard to pinpoint how much each is contributing. The important thing is that I feel back to normal again, and I have successfully given up the coffee to boot.
I do believe caffeine aids running and gives you a boost. But, it is a two edged sword like Jimmy said. To keep getting the same benefit, you can end up having to drink more and more of it, because your body gets used to it.