I thought caffeine has effects in endurance only…

until I read this:

[i]Studies: Caffeine can help athletes in both endurance and sprinting events

It has been established for more than 50 years that caffeine helps you exercise longer in events that require endurance.

Recently researchers at Christ Church University in Canterbury, UK, showed that caffeine also helps you in much shorter events. Trained cyclists raced one kilometer (0.6 mile) on three times, in random order, after taking 5 mg of caffeine, taking a placebo, or taking nothing.

Their speed, mean power and peak power were more than three percent higher after taking caffeine (Journal of Sports Sciences, November 2006).

Most athletes know that caffeine improves their performance. A recent study from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia shows that 90 percent of triathletes used a caffeinated substance immediately prior to or throughout a competition (International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, October 2006). They used cola drinks (78 percent), caffeinated gels (42 percent), coffee (37 percent), energy drinks (13 percent), and caffeine tablets (9 percent).

Caffeine increases endurance by preserving muscle sugar, causing your muscles to burn far more fat. When your muscles run out of their stored sugar (glycogen), they hurt and are difficult to coordinate. Caffeine causes your body to produce more adrenalin that moves fat from your fat stores into your bloodstream and causes your muscles to burn more of these fats. Caffeine also helps you move faster in shorter races because adrenalin makes you more alert and more aggressive.[/i]


I tried it several times for weight training and I was surprised. It has some great effects.

Maybe, I will take it before competitions. 200-300mg works great for me.

How much mg do you take before sprinting(competition,training) ?

Tell me your experiences. How much mg etc…

Yes caffeine is awesome for sprinting. Don’t just look to some of these flaky studies…go for real world testing. I read a study this month in the NSCA journal that actually said caffeine was good for power events. Then it went on to say that you should take it like 4 hours before your event due to its half-life or some shit. That’s a dead giveaway that the authors have never tried it. They should put themselves in their studies.

I usually take at least a vivarin before my main event, which is 200mg of caffeine.

Most I have taken is probably around 600mg between caffeine pills and drinks prior to a 4x400. It did help me sb for a split, but I would not recommend that high of a dose to anyone.

I couldnt really give you a percentage performance level increase as there are too many variables, conditions at the track, other supplements, basic day to day crap at each meet, you know.

100 I would say maybe .05 or something like that. For the 400 it helped me more, I think it was mostly psychological tho.

Also I am currently in the process of conducting a post graduate research study related to this area, so hopefully in a few months I will have more to say on this. (That is the psychological side of it)

Damn 600mg that is a lot of caffeine at once lol…

Most I ever have used is 300mg at once and that was more than enough!

What’s the rule on caffeine? Do they still test it? (It would be ironic if the allow ephedrine but limit caffeine). If they DO test for it, taking 600mg of Vivarin would prob get you in trouble because of the concentration in the urine.

My former roommate and now a D1 fb strength coach did his master’s thesis around caffeine and the 1rm squat. I was one of the subjects and over two different 1rm attempts(each a week apart) we were not told during either day(some were given the crystal light drink with caffeine at the first trial and some were given it in the second week) if we had been given the drink with caffeine or not. First week I did not feel any different but the second week there was no doubt-I was completely wired-and the squat max went up 33lbs.

I can’t recall the amount we were given but I can say it was sufficient to get me, a life long caffeine consumer, wired.

There was a study done where they gave the equivalent of about 1g of caffeine to normal men in a time period of ~an hour and they were well under the NCAA caffeine limits. I don’t think WADA has caffeine limits anymore.

Yes I was also under the assumption that the caffeine limits in NCAA are near impossible to reach . I believe international rules are slightly lower but still well out of the reach of any level that I would believe to have any benefit. I.E. like Davan mentioned greater than a gram.

Also after 300+mg cramping concerns tend to mitigate any benefit to myself. At least in the shorter sprints 55/60, 100.

There was another thread last year where we discussed this, but these days WADA has both a prohibited list and a monitoring program. You can find the documents on these days under antidoping.

Caffeine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanalmine, and certain others are being monitored (in competition only), but without limits (for the last 2-3 years).

Ephedrine (greater than 10 mcg/l in urine) is banned.

Now, anybody want to comment on Red Bull?

I can only assume with a fair degree of certainty Red Bull is ok, it contains taurine, but UK Athletics endorse it. You got to a UKA High Performance Centre and there are massive fridges full of the stuff. I know Craig is on the verge of securing a deal with them, and Jason Gardener now works for them. I think it would therefore be ironic if it had some limitations on it, having provided it by the binful at meets!!

Yup, I’ve seen a picture of Jason Gardener drinking Red Bull apparently right before an IAAF GP event. And there’s more in Red Bull than Taurine, but I’ve done text searches against the IAAF list (both the prohibited list and the monitoring list) and nothing shows up.

Like Gay, Bolt and some others, I’ve been trying to improve my start–in particular, reaction time–as much as I can, and I got to Red Bull by doing some searches on medline looking for supplements that improve mental/neural function and/or reaction time…and Red Bull turned up. I found one (double bind) study that showed an improvement of roughly 30% on a multiple choice reaction time test, and also some results showing some improvement in both aerobic and anaerobic power (short term). And trying it myself using Kelly’s reaction time test, I did see an improvement; I haven’t noticed anything at the track except that I feel better after warmups.

If somebody knows something to contradict what I’ve written here, I’d love to know about it.

It’s not just a bunch of bull…xxxx. There actually appears to be some hard science behind it.

I know many athletes use it as part of their event preparation here in the UK. Craig uses before meets and before training, although he stops before training around a month before his first competition to try and get a heightened response from the caffeine come the season, if that all makes sense. The only problem with it is that it is carbonated, and that may make some feel a little uncomfortable before exercise.

Do you use regaular Red Bull or sugar-free? If you were doing a couple of races per day and dosed up on full sugar Red Bull before the first race, then I would fear a potential crash later on in the day that you may not get with sugar free. Thoughts??

The information I got came from this study:

C. Alford, H. Cox, and R. Wescott, “The effects of Red Bull Energy Drink on human performance
and mood,” Amino Acids (2001) 21: 139–150.

This is not available online for free, but this is the summary:

The effects of Red Bull Energy Drink, which includes taurine,
glucuronolactone, and caffeine amongst the ingredients, were examined over
3 studies in a total of 36 volunteers. Assessments included psychomotor
performance (reaction time, concentration, memory), subjective alertness and
physical endurance. When compared with control drinks, Red Bull Energy
Drink significantly (P 0.05) improved aerobic endurance (maintaining
65–75% max. heart rate) and anaerobic performance (maintaining max.
speed) on cycle ergometers. Significant improvements in mental performance
included choice reaction time, concentration (number cancellation) and
memory (immediate recall), which reflected increased subjective alertness.
These consistent and wide ranging improvements in performance are
interpreted as reflecting the effects of the combination of ingredients.

In this study, subjects were given one 250ml can of Red Bull (not the big one and only one) and without external caffeine restriction. The Red Bull in the study was NOT sugar free, and I have used the exact same thing.

The study says that Red Bull is absorbed within 30 minutes, and they did their testing at that time period. I initially took the single can of Red Bull at the track right before starting warmups, and I did feel a bit uncomfortable (full) but there was no problem by the time my normal workout started any time I tried it. I have not noticed any real crash (as separate from being tired from a workout) from a single can of regular Red Bull. My suspicion is that people who have this problem are taking more (maybe a lot more) than one small can.

In my own research, I took the Red Bull and did Kelly’s reaction time test every 20 minutes over a period of 5 hours. I found the best effect to be not in 30 minutes, but 2-3 HOURS after taking it. The effect is gone after 4 hours, but it does seem that you don’t have to take it close enough to the actual workout for the carbonation to have an effect on you. This is measured by reaction time only: I don’t have a way of testing anaerobic capacity/power.

I think drinks, like Red Bull, tend to work better well after having them. Tea, coffee, Monster, Red Bull (energy drinks to a lesser extent though) all seem to need a bit more time to work.

I’ve had success drinking some tea or coffee in the morning, not a lot, but sipping on it on the way to the track and then having a Vivarin w/ some Tyrosine about 45mins-1hr before the race.

If you have rounds, you need another strategy. If it’ll be hard to make it through and you need caffeine to help with that, you could be screwed for the round(s) after when you are on the downstream of the peak in catecholines and other neurotransmitters.

Has anybody here tried to use nicotine? Experiments involving reaction time and some other anaerobic activity shows it to be equal to and better than caffeine in some cases (assuming you don’t normally use it). It isn’t banned and I’ve heard of endurance athletes using it (via gum).

It is no longer tested. Good thing too as the Great Britain team are sponsored by Red Bull!

Davan how do you like that Tyrosine ? for me it’s not doing anything… took 2-3 grams

From what I understand it can’t be absorbed by the body because some enzyme destroys it

i agree doesnt do much for me either.

I don’t like the idea of using nicotine, but that’s solely based on the negative connotations from smoking. It is highly addictive I understand.

Oh and I don’t remember who gave me that tip but since I stopped drinking coffee and redbulls like crazy before training and getting myself so motivated before my attempts using music and screams I recover much better and improve faster.

I never understood the point of screaming, i always laughed at those guys who did all of that nonsense just to lift 315lb on the sq.