Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The Fall 2011 “Laser Sailor” Quarterly Magazine has an article on effect of caffeine on exercise by Evan Lewis... Caffeine causes release of adrenaline which increases energy, reduces fatigue, and enhances mental alertness. The effect is in 15 to 30 minutes and lasts around three hours with difference due to body size and Tolerance.

Test done with cyclists and runners showed that caffeine in levels from 3 to 9 mg /kg increases time to muscle fatigue. Caffeine from coffee doesn’t seem to do the same. Probably due to other compounds in the coffee.

Now an ideal Laser sailor at 170 pounds (about 77 Kg.) would need 231 mg caffeine to get up to 3mg/kg. 12 ounce Coke has 35 mg so that is 6.6 cans. We will need some other way. An energy drink called Bing 120 mg caffeine in 12 ounce can, so you could do that with 2 cans, but look out because there are several other larger amounts of maybe stimulating things listed on the can. Monster Energy drink has 2500 mg of “energy compounds” listed along with caffeine, but doesn’t say how much caffeine.

The two ounce gels at the gym have 140 mg of caffeine. That maybe the stuff. Warning on the bottle -- don’t take more than two a day.

“5 Hour Energy” (2 ounce) has 1870 energy blend including caffeine, but no note about how much caffeine. I bought a little bottle and took a sip. Hardly any, but got so shaky that I threw the rest away.

While the studies apparently were double blind with some contestants getting caffeine and some not and no one knew which were which until after it was all over. I didn’t see any attempt to see what continued high doses would do. That is the question of Tolerance which I capitalized in the first paragraph. I have been on and off caffeine a bunch of times in the past many years and whenever I come back on, I get a big kick from a little and after a while it settles back.

Probably you want to get stronger by sailing and exercise and not by drinking this stuff. If you do use it, do it regularly and be sure to continue it with your sailing. Be careful. All the bottles say not to be taken by children or pregnant women or if you are taking other caffeine products.

Not much help I know!


  1. A few years ago I did talk to a sailor who had been one of the best of the best in his day. He told me that he used to take caffeine tablets while racing. I think he said that he had to limit his intake because, at least at that time, the drug code set an upper level on caffeine levels.

  2. Maybe someone will tell us about ilegal caffeine. I would think it would be hard to say a little was OK, but not more. Problem of when testing was done and when caffeine was taken. I tried to look up the Doping stuff at US Sailing and I got was IPS, WADA, ISAF/IFDS, USADA, AND USOC. what ever they ban is band???