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Old 02-28-2007, 02:50 AM   #1
Francisco Rodriguez
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finished day 4 of the zone. not as difficult as i thought it would be. i'm 25 yrs old, 6ft, 208lbs, former Marine. prescribed myself 19 blocks as per crossfit journal issue # 21. i posted all pertinent pages on a whiteboard, purchased a food scale, and have measured and weighed every portion with precision. i made the decision to 'enter the zone' in an effort to build upon my sound fitness base and develop a leaner, meaner physique and develop some serious functional strength/power for rugby =P

i searched the message board and found a little bit of info regarding caffeine and the zone but i really would like to know more. i'm not a coffee drinker but i typically take a few sips of xyience xenergy drink (0 calories, 2 carbs albeit 0 from sugar). i feel like the caffeine increases my focus when i tackle the weights, rowing, and workouts in general. should i cut the caffeine.. or is it little enough to not have an impact? also, previously i had been taking EAS creatine but the sugar loaded with it to increase creatine absorption works by spiking insulin levels doesn't it? I swapped it out for some plain old creatine minus the carbs/sugars. i'd prefer the older stuff not go to waste.. but don't want to throw myself out of the zone.

i'd thought about posting some sample meals but i'll spare everyone since they are almost identical to the plans in issue # 21. i swap blocks to suite my palate. the tacos are awesome!! i felt like i was having a cheat meal. def my current favorite zone dish.

Nicole - your "Getting off the Crack" article is a daily read for me. the text is as much an inspiration as your amazing physique =P knowing you felt like crap for the first two weeks keeps me from whining. compared to your experience if all i have to do is measure/weigh precisely and deal w/ a lil bit of discomfort while i adjust i can do it. i think i'm dialed in pretty good for starts. looking forward to improved performance in the weeks to come. will keep everyone posted.. most likely in the workout logs section.
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
Francisco Rodriguez
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no advice in regards to the caffeine? i will prob end up buying a zone book but i was hoping someone would enlighten me in the interim. thanks in advance.
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:21 PM   #3
Matt DeMinico
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Francisco, me personally, I avoid caffeine like the plague. Of course, there are some foods with small amounts of caffeine in it, but for me, any drink with caffeine now bothers my stomach to the point where I sometimes get sick during the night if I drink one.

But on a purely performance measure, for me personally, I want my body to learn to be able to do whatever it needs to do without any artificial stimulants or supplements. There's some times I'll deviate from that, but for the most part, it's all natural for me.
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:58 PM   #4
Francisco Rodriguez
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thx for the reply matt. i don't believe its a great amount of caffeine that i take in but you make a good point. caffeine isn't a crutch for me but i will keep it's use at an infrequent level. anyone know in particular if it will throw me out of the zone?
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:51 AM   #5
Chris Barclay
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I don't know about the zone but I did some research into caffeine a little while ago and there is some evidence to suggest that it messes with your cortisol levels affecting testoterone production. I don't think it would "throw you out of the zone" rather than limit your gains.

As matt d said before - it is a stimulant so in my book is not good.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:04 AM   #6
Francisco Rodriguez
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thx guys. since i originally posted i've started weaning myself off of it. did "Murph" tonight sans caffeine. intensity seemed just as good w/o it blew through the workout. had to fight back the puke doing squats. absolutely hooked on CF.
"Murph"
For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:27 AM   #7
Larry Lindenman
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Francisco, one or two cups of coffee is fine. There are no reliable studies which show this to be detrimental to training...there are studies which show caffeine is ergogenic. Coffee also has antioxidants.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:18 AM   #8
Matt DeMinico
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A lot of other things have antioxidants too. I just don't like the idea of a drug messing with my heart rate. And definitely would NOT take any form of stimulant anywhere around training hours. There's lots of stories out there about a high school kid who drank some sort of drink (energy drink, mountain dew, whatever) and passed out or just dropped dead right there from their heart overexerting itself. Matter of fact, the NCAA can exclude you from competition, as if you failed a drug test, if you have too high levels of caffeine in a urine test.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
Larry Lindenman
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Matt, there are stories about people dieing from just about anything. Moderate caffeine consumption is safe. I respect your not wanting to take drugs, but just for the heck of it, here are some studies (of thousands):

Caffeine dosing before exercise delays fatigue and may enhance performance of high-intensity exercise.
Int J Sport Nutr. 1999 Jun;9(2):229-39.

The effect of different dosages of caffeine on endurance performance time.

* Pasman WJ,
* van Baak MA,
* Jeukendrup AE,
* de Haan A.

Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

The effect of different dosages of caffeine (0-5-9-13 mg.kg body weight-1) on endurance performance was examined. Nine well-trained cyclists participated in this study (VO2max 65.1 +/- 2.6 ml.kg-1.min-1). Caffeine capsules were administered in random order and double-blind. One hour after capsule ingestion, subjects cycled until exhaustion at 80% Wmax on an electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. Blood samples were taken before, during and after the exercise test. Before and after the test a urine sample was obtained. A significant increase in endurance performance was found for all caffeine tests compared to placebo (endurance time 47 +/- 13, 58 +/- 11, 59 +/- 12 and 58 +/- 12 min for 0, 5, 9 and 13 mg.kg-1 body weight, respectively). No differences were found in endurance performance between the three caffeine dosages which indicates that no dose-response relation of caffeine and endurance performance was found. An increased free fatty acid and glycerol concentration was found after caffeine consumption compared with placebo. The mean urinary caffeine concentrations after exercise were 4.8 +/- 1.8, 8.9 +/- 5.2 and 14.9 +/- 6.9 micrograms.ml-1 urine for 5, 9 and 13 mg of caffeine.kg-1 body weight. Only the lowest dose of caffeine resulted in urine caffeine concentrations below the doping limit of the International Olympic Committee of 12 micrograms.ml-1 urine in all individuals. It is concluded that caffeine is an ergogenic aid that stimulates endurance performance. A dose-response relation between caffeine and endurance time was not found for the dose-range investigated.

PMID: 7657415 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Metabolic, catecholamine, and endurance responses to caffeine during intense exercise

M. Jackman, P. Wendling, D. Friars, and T. E. Graham

School of Human Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada

Received 11 August 1995; accepted in final form 5 June 1996.

Jackman, M., P. Wendling, D. Friars, and T. E. Graham. Metabolic, catecholamine, and endurance responses to caffeine during intense exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 81(4): 1658-1663, 1996.---This study examined the possible effects of caffeine ingestion on muscle metabolism and endurance during brief intense exercise. We tested 14 subjects after they ingested placebo or caffeine (6 mg/kg) with an exercise protocol in which they cycled for 2 min, rested 6 min, cycled 2 min, rested 6 min, and then cycled to voluntary exhaustion. In each exercise the intensity required the subject's maximal O2 consumption. Eight subjects had muscle and venous blood samples taken before and after each exercise period. The caffeine ingestion resulted in a significant increase in endurance (4.12 ± 0.36 and 4.93 ± 0.60 min for placebo and caffeine, respectively) and resulted in a significant increase in plasma epinephrine concentration throughout the protocol but not in norepinephrine concentration. During the first two exercise bouts, the power and work output were not different; blood lactate concentrations were not affected significantly by caffeine ingestion, but during the exercise bouts muscle lactate concentration was significantly increased by caffeine. The net decrease in muscle glycogen was not different between treatments at any point in the protocol, and even at the time of fatigue there was at least 50% of the original glycogen concentration remaining. The data demonstrated that caffeine ingestion can be an effective ergogenic aid for exercise that is as brief as 4-6 min. However, the mechanism is not associated with muscle glycogen sparing. It is possible that caffeine is exerting actions directly on the active muscle and/or the neural processes that are involved in the activity.

methylxanthines; epinephrine; norepinephrine; glycogen; ergogenic aids; fatigue

Current Sports Medicine Reports 2003, 2:213-219
Current Science, Inc. ISSN 1537-890X
Copyright © 2007 by Current Science, Inc.
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed drug in the world, and athletes frequently use it as an ergogenic aid. It improves performance and endurance during prolonged, exhaustive exercise. To a lesser degree it also enhances short-term, high-intensity athletic performance. Caffeine improves concentration, reduces fatigue, and enhances alertness. Habitual intake does not diminish caffeine's ergogenic properties. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the physiologic effects of caffeine, but adenosine receptor antagonism most likely accounts for the primary mode of action. It is relatively safe and has no known negative performance effects, nor does it cause significant dehydration or electrolyte imbalance during exercise. Routine caffeine consumption may cause tolerance or dependence, and abrupt discontinuation produces irritability, mood shifts, headache, drowsiness, or fatigue. Major sport governing bodies ban excessive use of caffeine, but current monitoring techniques are inadequate, and ethical dilemmas persist regarding caffeine intake by athletes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified caffeine as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) in 1958. A more recent review "found no evidence to show that the use of caffeine in carbonated beverages would render these products injurious to health."

The American Medical Association (AMA) has a similar position on caffeine's safety, stating that "Moderate tea or coffee drinkers probably need have no concern for their health relative to their caffeine consumption provided other lifestyle habits (diet, alcohol consumption) are moderate, as well."

Most experts agree that moderation and common sense are the keys for consuming caffeine-containing foods and beverages. Moderate caffeine consumption is considered to be about 300 mg.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:21 AM   #10
Troy Archie
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"there are stories about people dieing from just about anything"

What a great quote...
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