" Mixtures of strychnine, heroin, cocaine, and caffeine were used widely by athletes and each coach or team developed its own unique secret formulae. This was common practice until heroin and cocaine became available only by prescription in the 1920s."Mark S. Gold, MD Performance-Enhancing Medications and Drugs of Abuse, 1992
CAFFEINE AND ENDURANCE EXERCISE PERFORMANCELaboratory studies from the 1970’s suggested that caffeine enhanced endurance performance by increasing the release of adrenaline into the blood stimulating the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue and/or skeletal muscle. The working muscles use this extra fat early in exercise, reducing the need to use muscle carbohydrate (glycogen). The “sparing” of muscle glycogen made more available later in exercise to delay fatigue.In the 1980’s, many studies found that caffeine did not alter exercise metabolism, and implied that it had no ergogenic effect, without actually measuring performance. A few reports did examine caffeine and performance during endurance exercise and generally found no ergogenic effect. By the end of the decade, it was suggested that caffeine did not alter metabolism during endurance exercise and may not be ergogenic.Recent work reported that ingestion of 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance in the laboratory. To put this into perspective, 3 mg per kg body weight equals approximately one mug or 2 regular size cups of drip-percolated coffee; and 9 mg/kg = approximately 3 mugs of 5-6 regular size cups of coffee. These studies employed well-trained, elite or serious, recreational athletes. Studies with untrained individuals cannot be performed due to their inability to reliably exercise to exhaustion.The mechanism to explain these endurance improvements is unclear. Muscle glycogen is spared early during submaximal exercise following caffeine ingestion (5-9 mg/kg). It is unknown whether glycogen sparing occurs as a result of caffeine’s ability to increase fat availability for skeletal muscle use. Furthermore, there is no evidence supporting a metabolic component for enhancing performance at a low caffeine dose (3 mg/kg). Therefore, it appears that alterations in muscle metabolism alone cannot fully explain the ergogenic effect of caffeine during endurance exercise.
Caffeine is a “controlled or restricted substance” as defined by theInternational Olympic Committee (IOC). Athletes are allowed up to 12 ug caffeine permilliliter of urine before it is considered illegal. The acceptable limit in sports sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the U.S. is 15 ug/ml urine. These high urinary limits are to allow athletes to consume normal amounts of caffeine prior to competition. A large amount of caffeine can be ingested before reaching the “illegal” limit. For example, if a 70 kg person rapidly drank about 3-4 mugs, or 5-6 regular size cups of drip-percolated coffee (~9 mg/kg bw) one hour before exercise, exercised for 1-1.5 hours and then gave a urine sample, the urinary caffeine level would only approach the limit (12 ug/ml). The odds of reaching the limit through normal caffeine ingestion are low, except where smaller volumes of coffee with very high caffeine concentrations are consumed. Therefore, an illegal urinary caffeine level makes it highly probable that the athlete deliberately took supplementary caffeine tablets or suppositories in an attempt to improve performance.
for having a few Starbucks before or during a long stint in the sea.
What is the status of caffeine?The status of caffeine has not changed from last year. Caffeine was removed from the Prohibited List in 2004. Its use in sport is not prohibited.Many experts believe that caffeine is ubiquitous in beverages and food and that reducing the threshold might therefore create the risk of sanctioning athletes for social or diet consumption of caffeine. In addition, caffeine is metabolized at very different rates in individuals.Caffeine is part of WADA's Monitoring Program. This program includes substances which are not prohibited in sport, but which WADA monitors in order to detect patterns of misuse in sport.The 2010 and 2011 Monitoring Programs did not reveal global specific patterns of misuse of caffeine in sport, though a significant increase in consumption in the athletic population is observed.
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