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Old 09-01-2003, 08:30 AM   #1
Roy
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What are coffee's drawbacks? I heard it can be dehydrating. Does it effect digestion when taken with a meal? mainly a pre workout AM meal when coffee can be very helpful?
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Old 09-01-2003, 09:43 AM   #2
David Wood
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The caffiene in coffee has a number of interesting effects on the body . . . mostly useful in the short run, but probably not good for you in the long run.

It can be slightly dehydrating . . . I forget the exact mechanism of action, but caffiene will increase urination. Since you're generally ingesting a liquid at the same time (the coffee itself) rather than swallowing NoDoz (100mg caffiene) or Vivarin (200mg) pills, most researchers have concluded that it's pretty much a non-issue. (It also increases peristatltic action in the lower intestine and bowel, which decreases bowel passage time (i.e., encourages you to "go"), which can sometimes be a useful (and exploitable) side effect.)

Caffiene also stimulates your brain and body in a whole variety of ways . . . improving the body's ability to use fat as fuel, for instance. Various studies have shown that ingestion of caffiene allows users to exhibit more endurance in medium-term "work to exhaustion" protocols (usually biking on an ergometer), where the workload is set so that "exhaustion" (inability to continue) is reached in 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Sounds flat-out wonderful . . . and it is (that's why 200mg or more of caffiene is in every dose of most over-the-counter "fat burners" you see in the "health food" store) . . . but with the minor problem that yes, you WILL get dependent on it if you use it every day (I speak from experience, here).

It's long term effects are open to question . . . plenty of people have drunk coffee every day for 40 years without problems that can be traced to the coffee. It's probably a bad idea if you're prone to hypertension, or have a family history of cardiac arhythmmias. At your age, these sorts of issues are probably far in your future.

There's some (minor) evidence that it might increase certain kinds of cancers, and even better evidence that it might DECREASE bowel cancer (probably by stimulating everything so that it passes through more quickly).

For me, I would urge anyone your age to avoid the "habit" of coffee, if you can. It has marvelous stimulating effects, and it's great to be able to use those effects selectively (when you have a SERIOUS training session planned, either aerobic, or anaerobic). If you get in the habit of having coffee every day, well, those benefits won't be available to you when you really want them . . . your body won't be at it's best without that daily fix.

Dave (who's grumpy every morning until he gets his coffee)
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:47 PM   #3
Roy
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thanks for the info. It was really helpful

In conclusion, I'll probably cycle no doz with green tea
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:50 PM   #4
Robert Wolf
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Check out the book "Caffeine Advantage". It details the benefits and drawbacks of all caffeine sources. Coffee, if in the form of espresso or FRESH brewed, has an antioxidant capacity which makes green tea look laughable.

Here is some pure speculation on my part but I think it is sound: Coffee has an optimal dossage and going beyond that creates problems (The diuretic effect decreases pretty quickly with use). If one is insulin resistant and or eating a high carb diet coffee can play into insulin resistance a bit. If one is on a low carb plan and in good insulin sensitivity is can INCREASE lipolysis (fat burning). Taken prior to a workout caffeine can accentuate the neuroendocrine response ( keep dosses very conservative if you are training skill intensive movements).

Coffee releases dopamine...dopamine makes you productive and is the feeling of love....so, I love coffee.
Robb
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Old 09-01-2003, 05:45 PM   #5
Barry Cooper
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Robb,

That last part was pretty funny. Coffee--Say no more, C'est L'amour. Maybe I can sell that to Folgers.

I alternate coffee and about 6 kinds of black tea all day long. From what I've read, black tea may be better than green tea for a number of things. Plus it tastes good. Problem is, one of my teas is Lapsang Souchang, and no one wants to be my friend when I'm drinking that stuff. I like anything, though, that has character or kicks my ***. That's why I do CrossFit.

Since I drink a lot of coffee, I've read up on the studies, and the bottom line, as far as I can tell, is: unconclusive. It reduces depression and suicide rates, it can act to burn fat, it may elevate insulin levels in some cases, it may or may not increase the risk of heart disease at high doses, and there is no question whatsoever that if you drink therapeutic doses that you will be HIGH.

If you're in college, though, I can say from personal experience that it's a bad idea to drink a quaduple mocha and then try to sit through class without breaking out in the sweats.

Best bet, as always: try it, see what happens. If you like it, do it again. If you don't, stop.
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Old 09-01-2003, 09:53 PM   #6
Robert Wolf
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It is interesting for me in that when I ate a high carb diet I could not tollerate caffeine of any kind. The theopholine in green tea really destroyed me and can still cause problems. When I moved to Seattle from N. California coffee became key in staving off SAD and reducing the desire to off myself. If society ever crumbles I can guarantee you I will die trying to get to central america...
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Old 09-02-2003, 12:31 AM   #7
Nils Tangroth
 
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Caffeine as an alkaloid has an addictive potential. With quite a lot of withdrawal symptoms like tiredness, moodiness, migrainelike headache, diarrhea
As all addicts you have to take larger doses more and more often.
For me it ended up with withdrawal headache 2 o'clock in the night. Having to get up and drink coffee in the middle of the night.
The detoxification process took 14 days with a constant almost unbearable headache through all these days. I couldn't work and I couldn't train
It was like hell.
So Beware!
Now I am very cautious with coffee drinkning just like taking a medicine 15 ml times 3 one or two days a week.
No social coffee drinking for me. It won't work

As bona fide I am not tired two hours after the last cup of coffee, which was a problem before

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Old 09-02-2003, 05:22 AM   #8
Roy
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MY idea is 1 cup of coffee in the morning, and a cup of green tea in the afternoon. Tea twice on saturday and sunday with no coffee either day. Is this okay for someone 18 years of age?
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Old 09-02-2003, 05:48 AM   #9
Barry Cooper
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Roy,

Only the good die young. Unless you're in danger of winning some athletic event, at your age you should be out getting lit every weekend and chasing women. Don't worry about coffee. Do stay away from ephedrine, though.
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Old 09-02-2003, 09:32 AM   #10
Robert Wolf
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Nils-

That sounds pretty rough! My "heavy" consumption will amount to three espressos in a day....approx two cups of coffee. My therapeutic dose is pretty low!

BTW-Welcome to Crossfit
Robb
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