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Coffee on Race Morning? Yes or No?

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By Laura Anatonucci (triathlete.com)

 

Q: I love my morning cup of coffee. Should I cut it out on race morning to stay hydrated and improve my performance? 

 

A: Every time I give a sports nutrition talk to a group or team, this question is asked. I too look forward to my morning coffee for a host of reasons—taste, warmth, morning ritual, and a wake-up “boost.” Should we cut it out on race morning? Thankfully, the answer is no!

 

First, let’s dispel the dehydration myth. When consumed regularly, and at moderate amounts (see below), caffeinated coffee does not lead to dehydration or excessive urine loss, and therefore may be counted toward total fluid needs (phew!).

Now what about caffeine’s performance benefits? Dozens of studies have shown performance benefits of caffeine consumption in athletes, including lower RPE (rate of perceived exertion), improved endurance performance and clearer concentration....

 

However, there are downsides. Caffeine can act as a G.I. stimulant, and while most triathletes are happy to have pre-race toilet time, excessive caffeine consumption (from pre-race coffee and/or caffeinated sports products during a race) can lead to dreaded effects such as diarrhea or jitteriness.  READ MORE



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