Thursday, January 21, 2010

Limit caffeine before running

The Running Doc at Runners World just posted on some conclusions made after the International Marathon Medical Directors Association was reviewing cases of successful recussitations at different races. They were able to interview these runners after they recovered and discovered some similar behaviors between them, specifically high amount of caffeine consumed before and during the race. One was a 32 year old male who had injested 2 energy drinks, a starbucks coffee, and 2 energy gels! Caffeine is a stimulant and has also been shown to decrease coronary blood flow while marathoning. With these energy drinks and gels with caffeine, the total mg of caffeine sure adds up pretty quickly, especially when you add in a morning coffee or big gulp! The Running Doc recommends limiting caffeine intake to less than 200mg on race morning (equal to two cups of coffee). This may be the missing piece of the puzzle to why these young people with healthy arteries are dropping at races.

Still raining out here!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Karl. I never have caffeine except for a coke now and then but never before running. I try and avoid the caffeine GU's also.

Dale Lister said...

Interesting article about the caffeine. You made me double check. If I have a large diet soda (as I usually do) way before race time I have taken in about 150mg. I usually add 1 energy gel with 45g more shortly before the race. So, I am right at the 200mg limit he suggested. I read somewhere lately, however, that a person who typically has caffeine in the morning should do so before a race - as that is what the body is used to.

2 energy drinks + starbucks + gels.... now I hope that is not the usualy morning routine!

Karl Stutelberg said...

There have been studies that show an increase in performance after ingesting caffeine but I am not sure what the dosage was. I think it is important not to "overdose" as the Running Doc writes. I don't think a coffee or a soda will help or hinder you before a race. I wonder if the Gu's and gels will change their marketing and ingredients after some of this information gets published?