Coffee and running…does it mix?? So, I’m definitely NOT a morning person….and when I say this…just be lucky you don’t have to be in the same house as me when I wake up. With my weird night work hours, I get to sleep in until whenever I want…basically it saves me the morning grumps because I just wake up when I wake up.
Yesterday, I had to get up BEFORE the sun rose! To say I was not happy about this is a huge understatement. But, I’m a nice person and I took a friend to the airport. So, in order for me to not crash the car, I got a cup of coffee from Starbucks (yes, something girly and sugary because I don’t actually like the taste of coffee) so I bought some double shot, skinny, latte, mocha or something, bullshit… and a blueberry muffin, cause those are delicious!
I dropped my friend off at the aueropuerte and headed back home; since I had time to spare before my afternoon plans and since I was up bright and early, I went for a long run; but I got to thinking while I was running….Is coffee actually good for runners? I know A LOT of people drink it every morning to get their day started, but I was wondering if my fellow runners do. Like I said before, I don’t have to worry about getting a jump-start when I wake up because I’m pretty awake when I get out of bed at noon (hahaha, yes, sometimes I do sleep till noon).
What I know about coffee from the gallons I used to drink in college to make it through my senior year is that it severely dehydrated me because of the diuretic effect, which would be obviously bad for long runs. Also, it raises the heart rate…again, bad. Maybe if coffee was a regular thing for me, neither of these things would happen. But coffee also umm..*cough* makes you have to poop and pee! (What am I saying…girls don’t poop) I don’t want to be only a mile into my 10 mile run holding my bladder!
What about the scientific facts… coffee has a high amount of antioxidants which has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Studies has also shown that coffee has been linked to aiding to fat metabolism and easing post-workout pain. Also, I read that it can reduce the risk for skin cancer, depression and even Alzheimer’s. Caffeine wakes up the mind, giving you the boost/energy you need for running.
That sounds awesome! But, I kept reading…as little as two cups of joe can decrease the blood flow to the heart limiting the oxygen your heart sees. This could be bad for aerobic exercise (duh!) since well, aerobic means using oxygen and well, you need that for running….
During my caffeinated
research run yesterday morning, I had a good 2 hours after my coffee consumption to, erm, clear my system…so I didn’t run into any problems there. Also, if you remember from my last post, I’ve been having a hard time finding my energy to run…I made it 7 miles, non stop!! My heart felt fine, and my mind felt great. So who knows – but since my degree from college was in the sciences, I am aware that the scientific method for my “experiment” had a lot of errors…
Fellow runners, do you use coffee for your runs?? Or only when you run in the morning?
Article I read: Runner’s World, “Java Jolt”
8 thoughts on “Java, Java, Java, Java”
I know lots of people swear by coffee, partically for the jump start, partially to “clear” the system. Not a coffee drinker myself but I say whatever works!
Interesting! I am not a coffee drinker, prefer green tea actually. However, on my morning runs (and I have 4 of them) I do have a very small, very strong black coffee and a cereal bar. They are my pre-run starters of choice. I have noticed a difference if I do not stick to this ritual; my runs are certainly not as successful and I drag a lot quicker.
So yeah, it’s a coffee before a run for me…but not cause I like it 😉
I’m not a coffee drinker either..but my boyfriend sure is! He’s tuned out to the world unless he gets his cup of joe. He’s not a runner…but if he plays hockey before he has coffee it’s over before it started
I am a HUGE coffee addict. I have 1-2 cups before I run for two reasons: #1 I feel mentally more awake and #2 it makes me poop before I run : ) so that I get everything out of my system before I head outside! I usually like 1/2 hour to digest it and go to bathroom before heading out, though.
Good call, 1/2 hour before I run! I’m actually going to try it again for a long run tomorrow!
Hey there – love your work, so I’m sending a little shout-out your way @ http://findingwonderwoman.com/2012/04/11/oh-why-thank-you/
Thanks so much! That made me smile.. BIG!
Coffee is all good. The diuretic effect is more myth than reality. It works out to about 4% greater than plain old water. I always have at least 3 cups, uslually 4 on my long ride/run days. During the week I drink even more – I generally wake up for work between 4 and 4:30 am… Yes, it’s nasty but I got used to it after a few months.