Coffee and cycling go together like bacon and eggs, socks and shoes, funnel cakes and fairs, well, you get the gest. That is why so many cyclist combine these two finer things in life. And for good reason.
Coffee (via caffeine, off course) is credited with increasing performance to cyclist during rides. Matthew Ganio, PHD, an exercise physiologist at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas, states that post coffee consumption, “You become more alert, you react faster, and you don't feel like you're working as hard, all of which add up to training or competing at a higher intensity for a longer period of time and being more agile in a pack.”
For the Little Rock Gran Fondo, and all the training along the way, we encourage coffee. And lots of it. Whether you knew it or not, there is a great reason you all meet for coffee before training rides: it tastes great, promotes community, and helps you ride better. Here are a couple tips for the coffee enthused cyclist in all of us:
• It is an urban legend that coffee increases the risk of dehydration. "In reasonable doses, caffeine alone won't lead to more bathroom breaks during a ride or a greater risk of dehydration," says Mindy Millard-Stafford, PhD, former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. Just remember folks, she said “reasonable doses”.
• All cyclists are not made equal. Make sure you test coffee intake and the amount thereof before you commit to a venti on race day. Every individual responds differently to caffeine consumption in conjunction with exercise. "If you feel jittery, anxious, or notice your heart racing, dial back the amount you take in before a ride," says Ganio
• Wield the power of tolerance. Bodies are amazing and have an innate inability to adapt to our behavior patterns – like drinking a lot of coffee. If you regularly drink more than five daily cups of coffee, Ganio recommends tapering your intake by a half cup a day for about a week then ramp back up for race day.
• Time is of the essence. Your body needs 60 minutes to process and enact the power of caffeine throughout your body. Sip accordingly and on longer rides consider tapering your intake amount in segments.
Leiva’s Coffee is a proud supporter of the Gran Fondo. Go to www.leivascoffee.com and use the coupon code: ridejolt to purchase some of our delicious coffee and give a boost to your cycling performance. Your purchase of Leiva’s supports the community where the coffee is grown. 10% of our proceeds go right to the farmers who bring the coffee directly to your cup!
Article(s) Used in the Writing of This Article:
Matthew Kady, RD, “Caffeine Alert”