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Ergogenic Caffeine timing

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Ergogenic Caffeine timing

Postby mandohack » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:47 am

The Guide recommends eating a small 200-400 calorie "meal" at least three-hours before the start of a race or maybe a serving or two of Hammer Gel 10-minutes prior. I'm interested in using Hammer Gel Espresso for the ergogenic benefits of the caffeine it contains. How can I meet the pre-race meal requirements while getting the full benefit of the caffeine timing? If I use two servings of Hammer Gel Espresso three-hours prior to race start time, am I missing out on the peak caffeine benefits? I expect the race to be less than 2-hours (my first duathlon). If I use the Gel 10-minutes before the race, will the caffeine have time to reach peak before the race is over?

Thanks,
--Ian
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Re: Ergogenic Caffeine timing

Postby steve-born » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:25 pm

Hello Ian -

Excellent question. Here is some information that I found that you might find helpful...

Caffeine is fully absorbed by the digestive system in approximately 45 minutes, according to the Coffee Science Information website. Typically, the peak of concentration is 15 to 120 minutes after caffeine is consumed. Caffeine stays in the bodies of men for five to nine hours, but the amount of time is reduced by 30 to 50 percent in smokers. The length of stay for caffeine in women using oral contraceptives is approximately 12 to 15 hours, and can be as long as 15 hours in pregnant women as well, according to the Coffee Science Information Centre and the International Coffee Organization.

SOURCE: http://www.livestrong.com/article/27278 ... ur-system/

Personally, I find it a bit hard to believe that it takes a full 45 minutes for caffeine to be fully absorbed... I would expect it to be much sooner than that, even though I don't have any research to back up that hypothesis.

Additionally, the range in time where the caffeine "peak" occurs (after it is fully absorbed) is so wide ranging (15 minutes to 2 hours) that it's really difficult to ascertain with 100% accuracy whether or not you will enjoy that peak during the race. That said, my experience with caffeine and caffeine-enhanced products suggests that it's definitely less than an hour (actually, much closer to 15 minutes). If that's correct, and if it does take a full 45 minutes for caffeine to be fully absorbed, you're looking at about an hour, perhaps an hour and a half, before the "peak" hits. With that in mind, I would surmise that the espresso Hammer Gel that you consume 3 hours prior to the start, as well as 10 minutes prior to the start, should assist you while you're still racing.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Ergogenic Caffeine timing

Postby mandohack » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:50 pm

Thanks for the quick response Steve.

I'll use that plan then and let you know how it goes (albeit, the results are specific to me); one Espresso Gel at 3-hours prior and one just before go-time.

--Ian
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Re: Ergogenic Caffeine timing

Postby mandohack » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:03 pm

Post event update ...

I finished better than expected by about three-minutes over the short course (2mi run, 20k bike, 5k run). I came in 6th overall (5th "rank" based on performance without transitions) and first in my 40-45 age group. Very happy with those results. :D

I weened, okay, it was more like cold turkey'd off of caffeine about a month prior to the duathlon. I did have the occasional caffeine from chocolate, etc., but avoided all traditional sources, coffee, tea, soda ... Man, did my head ache! :oops:

I weight about 75Kg (165 lbs). I used two Espresso Hammer Gels three-hours prior to listed start time (the race was delayed 45-minutes due to t-storms). I took an additional Espresso Hammer Gel at what was supposed to be 10-minutes prior to the start, but ended up being closer to 25-minutes.

I was also using Race Day Boost (each of four-days prior to event), albeit not as regularly as the directions indicate due to traveling for business causing interruptions to dosing.

My perceived exertion was considerably lower considering my 5k run was just 15-seconds short of my 5k PR without the 20k bike ride! :o My heartrate was high zone 4 to low zone 5 the entire event.

I have no other duathlon to which I can compare the results, but based on that 5k run, I'm giving a big thumbs up to this protocol.

Thanks, Hammer Nutrition and Steve for great products and solid information,
--Ian
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Re: Ergogenic Caffeine timing

Postby mandohack » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:06 pm

Oh, additionally, I did not suffer any ill effects from the sudden use of the caffeine, even though it was only equivalent to two cups of coffee. Heart rate was not affected, no shakes, typical anxiety.

I'm now wondering if the race had kicked off on schedule would the affects been even more pronounced? Guess I'll find out next time.

--Ian
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