Enhancing the effect of caffeine

Enhancing the effect of caffeine

I’m not only about coffee. I also run. Like coffee, I try to take running to the extreme. I’m either all in or I’m not. I ran the 2013 Mt Taylor 50k race in Grants New Mexico -ok I didn’t really “run” the whole race, that mountain was really really tall, you try and run up that. I came across a interesting concept that I tried leading up to this race. I wanted to maximize the sports benefits of caffeine.

To do this, I decided I would limit my caffeine intake about a month or so leading up to the race. In theory, on race day
caffeine would be more effective. On paper the concept seemed sound but my routines are all centered around coffee. While pondering the problem, I realized the solution… The answer might be obvious to you, it was sacrilegious to me. Could I really do it? It would be embarrassing.

I didn’t do this at home. I didn’t have the beans, but I did do it when I went to Starbucks. For about a month I had to walk up to the counter and order decaf. I know what you are thinking, what is the point of decaf coffee? I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I drink coffee because I like the routine and ritual. Getting decaf was a whole lot better than messing with my routine.

But I discovered something interesting. Starbucks doesn’t sell a lot of decaf so many locations don’t brew it after a certain time. When I ordered, they made me a single cup by using a pour over funnel. Decaf brewed that way tastes richer and fresher than regular coffee in the urn. I’m sure Starbucks will brew you regular coffee in a pour over, but I don’t want to be “that customer”. By ordering decaf I got tastier coffee without making a “special” request.

One of the things I like about endurance sports is the planning and logistics. Ultimately my decaf plan failed horribly. It was a failure of logistics. Free travel tip for you: The people in Grants are very friendly. But if you ever visit, bring your own coffee. I wasn’t able to find decent coffee at 3-4am. I stopped at a convenience store en route to the starting line to end my caffeine fast – I should have gotten a Red Bull because the coffee wasn’t very tasty.

I’m planning my 2014 race schedule and I’ll try the caffeine “fast” again. This time I have decaf green beans so I can roast my own. I’m wondering if I should switch my house to decaf without telling my wife. Maybe that will be too dangerous.



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