Coffee improving erg performance

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower

Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 27th, 2016, 1:06 pm

Do any of you find that having coffee before a workout improves your feeling of performance on the erg?

I was having a coffee once every few days, but now i'm having one, or even occasionally two cups each day... with milk and 3 sugars!! Yep thats right, 3 sugars :D

Not sure if it's just placebo, but i feel on the longer endurance sessions my stamina seems better if i have a coffee maybe 1 hour beforehand.
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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Gammmmo » September 27th, 2016, 2:08 pm

of course it will...caffeine is one of the few touted ergogenics that work. Ideally you should be getting 200-300mg of it before a big effort but personally I woudn't do that everyday.
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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 27th, 2016, 2:21 pm

Yeah i know... i'm going to try cutting back to one cup every few days. I'm getting into that habit of wanting a coffee with breakfast every day (addictive) even though i'll drink usually 1 litre of water every morning before breakfast... i still get that signal to the brain (must have coffeeeeee)
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PB's (2k)7:23.2 (5k)19:48 (6k)23:58.8 (30:00)7518

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby remisture » September 28th, 2016, 2:19 am

I have no idea whether my coffee intake improves my erg performance, but it sure helps me during work hours. I probably drink 5-6 cups throughout the day :? Doping? :oops:
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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby remisture » September 28th, 2016, 6:30 am

UPDATE :mrgreen: :

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 28th, 2016, 10:12 am

:lol: Very nice, Remi. 5-6 cups per day? WOW :o well it certainly doesn't affect your performance in a bad way thats for sure... you're one superfit dude on them ergs :wink:


Going for a coffee right now as a matter of fact :D :lol:
Male, 39, 5'10, 75kg (Started rowing on June 9th 2016)

PB's (2k)7:23.2 (5k)19:48 (6k)23:58.8 (30:00)7518

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby left coaster » September 28th, 2016, 2:51 pm

I saw an article recently that clearly linked endurance benefits from caffeine to genetic differences in the rate of caffeine metabolism.

Those who were fast metabolizers showed benefits from caffeine, people who were in the middle (heterozygotic) showed no effect and those who were slow metabolizers actually had decreased performance.

Personally, I'm a monozygotic 'fast metabolizer' so I should experience a benefit, but not everyone will and some will be impaired using caffeine. I'll dig around to see if I can find a link to the publication.
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 28th, 2016, 3:59 pm

left coaster wrote:I saw an article recently that clearly linked endurance benefits from caffeine to genetic differences in the rate of caffeine metabolism.

Those who were fast metabolizers showed benefits from caffeine, people who were in the middle (heterozygotic) showed no effect and those who were slow metabolizers actually had decreased performance.

Personally, I'm a monozygotic 'fast metabolizer' so I should experience a benefit, but not everyone will and some will be impaired using caffeine. I'll dig around to see if I can find a link to the publication.


Very very interesting indeed. I am also a fast metabolizer.. when ever i am in decent fitness shape in my life. This would also explain why i felt that the caffeine improved my performance.
Male, 39, 5'10, 75kg (Started rowing on June 9th 2016)

PB's (2k)7:23.2 (5k)19:48 (6k)23:58.8 (30:00)7518

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Pie Man » September 29th, 2016, 12:43 pm

Out of interest how do you find out if you are a fast metaboliser? My morning coffee is on the line here :)
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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 29th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Ideally, a blood test should be used to accurately measure a person’s metabolic rate!!!

Here are a few obvious signs to lookout for though to indicate if you have fast metabolism

Underweight: Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person with fast metabolic rate is comparatively lower than the desired value, as per the person’s height, age and body type.

High basal body temperature: A person with fast metabolism feels sweaty and hot all the time, since his or her basal body temperature remains high. This is perhaps because the metabolic reactions happen so quickly in his or her body, thus creating high temperatures.

More hunger: A person with fast metabolism feels hungry all the time, even after the 5 recommended meals everyday. Sometimes, he or she may feel empty immediately after eating food. This is a sign that his or her metabolism is at its peak speed.

Some people with fast metabolism may also experience following symptoms

Frequent bowel movements
Dizziness, excessive sweating and fatigue
Rapid heart rate
Trouble sleeping
Frequent mood swings
Trembling hands
Male, 39, 5'10, 75kg (Started rowing on June 9th 2016)

PB's (2k)7:23.2 (5k)19:48 (6k)23:58.8 (30:00)7518

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Pie Man » September 29th, 2016, 1:16 pm

Thanks Anth, five years ago i my of qualified as my body temperature was always hot but now I verge on cool, unfortunately none of the other indicter's fit. I'll continue with my morning coffee.
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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 29th, 2016, 1:40 pm

Some of them apply to me for sure!! I am hot frequently, my sleep is so so and i get mood swings very regular. My body often digests my meals very quickly (feel empty again quickly)! That indicates back to that " more hunger". And of course, that issue i have of still losing weight that i no longer want to.

Metabolism can be slowed easily enough by eating much more nuts, meat and dairy frequently during the day, and doing no more than 15 mins exercise every day + no strenuous activities (basically become a lazy git) and have less sleep :lol:

Less sleep will increase cortisol levels in the body, thus slowing down metabolism and storing fat in the body :idea:
Male, 39, 5'10, 75kg (Started rowing on June 9th 2016)

PB's (2k)7:23.2 (5k)19:48 (6k)23:58.8 (30:00)7518

2014 model E

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby DavidA » September 29th, 2016, 2:12 pm

left coaster wrote:I saw an article recently that clearly linked endurance benefits from caffeine to genetic differences in the rate of caffeine metabolism.

Those who were fast metabolizers showed benefits from caffeine, people who were in the middle (heterozygotic) showed no effect and those who were slow metabolizers actually had decreased performance.

Personally, I'm a monozygotic 'fast metabolizer' so I should experience a benefit, but not everyone will and some will be impaired using caffeine. I'll dig around to see if I can find a link to the publication.


As you mention, not everybody fits.
I am a fast metabolizer. I don't hardly ever drink coffee, and I have never tried to see how caffeine might effect my performance, but when I have had some to drink to try to stay awake it hasn't worked at all.

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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby left coaster » September 29th, 2016, 2:17 pm

Hey Guys,

I looked around for the study and couldn't find it. Stupid, it was really interesting and I can't remember which of my various feeds I saw it in...

Anyway, it was NOT about basal metabolic rate. There is a specific allele in our DNA that is associated with individual rates of caffeine metabolism. The study was based on individual differences in this allele and has nothing to do with the state of other metabolic rates in our body.

The only way to know your status on this allele is to do genetic testing through a company like 23andme etc.
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

"The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer"

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Started rowing September 2015
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Re: Coffee improving erg performance

Postby Anth_F » September 29th, 2016, 2:24 pm

left coaster wrote:Hey Guys,

I looked around for the study and couldn't find it. Stupid, it was really interesting and I can't remember which of my various feeds I saw it in...

Anyway, it was NOT about basal metabolic rate. There is a specific allele in our DNA that is associated with individual rates of caffeine metabolism. The study was based on individual differences in this allele and has nothing to do with the state of other metabolic rates in our body.

The only way to know your status on this allele is to do genetic testing through a company like 23andme etc.


Ahh right, i see!! Well i can speak from my own experience, that i can most certainly feel a good benefit doing endurance erg sessions if i have coffee beforehand. Moreso than what i do if i go without having coffee, and just water only :idea:

Like today, had a coffee then done 7500m, and felt i could have gone on for double that distance keeping up pace. Obviously consumed plenty water too though beforehand to keep hydrated for the session.
Male, 39, 5'10, 75kg (Started rowing on June 9th 2016)

PB's (2k)7:23.2 (5k)19:48 (6k)23:58.8 (30:00)7518

2014 model E

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