Coffee- that early morning pre-ride java! Coffee is obviously and most notably full of caffeine, one of the most proven performance enhancing aids that is easily bought and consumed
It’s been shown to increase performance in endurance, peak power output, time to exhaustion by up to 7%, it’s muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrate) sparing AND caffeine post training when taken together with carbohydrate further improves the speed at which you replenish those emptied stores, which can be hugely important when training twice a day or if doing an event over several days
To really feel like you’re flying taking at least 3-6mg per kg bodyweight is recommended with no additional performance enhancement effects over 6mg
When to take it?
Taking your caffeine hit 60 minutes’ prior will ensure optimal absorption but 15-30 minutes has been shown to be just as effective – ultimately think when you want it kicking in – is it from the get go or a little way in?
Taking an additional intake mid-way has been noted to improve subsequent performance If you’re doing a prolonged ride.
Myth Bust – Caffeine doesn’t increase dehydration, though it is a diuretic and the frequency of going to the toilet should be noted, several studies have failed to show any change in sweat rate, total water loss, or negative change in fluid balance that would adversely affect performance, even under conditions of heat stress.
A typical espresso contains 75-80mg of caffeine
Small – 2 espresso shots
Medium – 3 espresso shots
Large – 4 espresso shots
For a great pre-ride all in one try this;
Morning Mocha Smoothie
- 1 large frozen banana ~126g
- 40g whey
- 300ml Coffee
- 15g peanut butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa
Not up for a coffee? Caffeine tablets and even chewing gum are available now! Having tried both I can say “I’m a fan”- I’m not always in the mood to have a big drink so these work perfectly!
Will Girling – Head nutritionist at ONE Pro Cycling and www.willgirling.com