When it comes to fitness, there is no denying that coffee plays a vital role in almost everything I do. When I’m cycling, my rides often begin with a coffee… they have a coffee shop interlude and are fuelled on the go with caffeine enhanced snacks. When I do long distance running (half marathons for me), I also fuel the run itself with my favourite shot bloks that contain caffeine. And on the odd occasion that I’m feeling low in energy before a workout, I will often use a caffeinated pre-workout but I tend not to use caffeine for my very early starts.
Generally, I don’t have an addictive personality but I try to stick to having no more than one caffeinated product per day as well as not having caffeine every single day of the week. I kinda think that the moderation rule helps the caffeine to be more effective when I actually do consume it. Moderation is also important for me as caffeine limits the absorption of iron, and as someone who suffers periodically with anaemia, I need all the iron I can get!
In a talk at the Running Awards (April 2018) from the brand TrueStart Coffee, we were told that the levels of caffeine in coffee can vary from as low as 20mg all the way up 500mg in one single serving. And this can happen even if you use the same branded product… even the same jar… maybe this explains why sometimes your cup of java just does nothing for you when other times it has you swinging from the ceiling?? …I just tried a sample of TrueStart, which has a measured caffeine content of 95mg per serving, from my goody bag and I have no complaints!
How does caffeine affect you, according to your DNA?
When it comes to drinking coffee or tea, some people can drink several cups with little effect and others get jittery after one cup says myDNA. They created a personalised caffeine report for me after I submitted a mouth swab for analysis. According to the report, I am a normal metaboliser which means that about 45 minutes after drinking caffeine I will feel more energetic and alert. For most people with my results, the kick from caffeine may last 6-8 hours.
Did you know that it’s possible to speed up the rate that you metabolise caffeine? You can do this with some natural substances known as inducers. However, this only works if you have a particular gene variation (which I do not have). Some things that can speed up the metabolism of caffeine are: cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, horseradish, turnips, watercress, wasabi); tobacco smoke; certain drugs; charcoal-grilled meat.
For some reason, the caffeine conversation always fascinates me especially when it comes to being active and your health. It’s even more fascinating to know that you’re born with specific DNA that affects how caffeine works for you…
Are you a coffee / caffeine fan?!