Ode to my cup o’ joe

Here’s an interesting article about the effects of caffeine on working out (running and otherwise).  As Gina Kolata points out, caffeine is entirely legal as a performance enhancer; however, reading about how people now wish they had taken caffeine prior to competing makes me feel a little squeamish.

What do you think?  Will you start popping caffeine pills before your next race?  Maybe I should just make a run to Starbucks before my upcoming 5k–speed training be damned!



  1. I was just reading a thread about this very topic on Daily Mile yesterday. One dude said that he pops No-Dose during a long run or marathon. Whatcha think of that?

  2. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Cup of joe? Caffeinated gels? Sure. But NO DOZ?! Seriously, that can’t be good for a person . . . there have to be some kind of crazy side effects there!

    I require caffeine before runs mostly as a result of the fact that I am a bit of a caffeine addict . . . maybe I’ve been “enhancing” my performance all along. If that’s the case, I’d hate to see how slow I’d be WITHOUT caffeine!

  3. I’m really, really torn on this issue. First, I’d have to go with Irish on the No Doz issue. I took that stuff once when I had to stay up all night in high school to finish an assignment (now, having been through college and graduate school the idea of taking no doz in high school seems absurd to me) and I vowed to never ever take it again. I’d think that taking that and running a marathon would be frightening, from a heart-healthy perspective.

    And then there’s the fact that I love coffee and rely on it to get going in the morning. But there’s something about voluntarily and intentionally using it as a performance enhancer that seems to bring up a gray area/fine line issue–is it okay just because it’s legal? Does that mean other drugs would be okay if they were legal? What makes a performance enhancer illegal in the first place? I probably don’t know enough about all of this to really comment, but it just seems weird to me. Even though, again, I’m a coffee drinker, and plan on keeping it that way. *shrug*

  4. I need coffee to function properly. I drink a cup when I wake up so that I really Wake Up, then I will drink another one (maybe two) during the rest of the day. But I don’t usually drink them on purpose before a run (except on race days, but because races are always early and if I don’t drink coffee early I wouldn’t make it to the start line!). But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking coffee before a run… of course, there’s drinking one cup of coffee and there’s drinking 10 cups… What I mean is, if it’s not a crazy amount of coffee, I ok with that.

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