Taking both coffee pots out of the clubhouse

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Remember the revelation a few years ago that talked about clubhouses having two coffee pots: leaded and unleaded? Clearly, this referred to the presence of amphetamines in the brew. Turns out, both pots can enhance your performance. J.C. Bradbury of Sabernomics post a link and summary of a study done on caffeine, titled “The effect of caffeine as an ergogenic aid in anaerobic exercise.” The abstract, with my own emphasis:

The study examined caffeine (5 mg/kg body weight) vs. placebo during anaerobic exercise. Eighteen male athletes (24.1+/-5.8 yr; BMI 26.4+/-2.2 kg/m2) completed a leg press, chest press, and Wingate test. During the caffeine trial, more total weight was lifted with the chest press, and a greater peak power was obtained during the Wingate test. No differences were observed between treatments for the leg press and average power, minimum power, and power drop (Wingate test). There was a significant treatment main effect found for postexercise glucose and insulin concentrations; higher concentrations were found in the caffeine trial. A significant interaction effect (treatment and time) was found for cortisol and glucose concentrations; both increased with caffeine and decreased with placebo. Postexercise systolic blood pressure was significantly higher during the caffeine trial. No differences were found between treatments for serum free-fatty-acid concentrations, plasma lactate concentrations, serum cortisol concentrations, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion. Thus, a moderate dose of caffeine resulted in more total weight lifted for the chest press and a greater peak power attained during the Wingate test in competitive athletes.

You can read more about Wingate tests here.

Clearly, this is not a cry to add caffeine to the banned substance list. It’s legal in all 50 states (obviously), so everyone is on even ground. Yet it does enhance performance, perhaps even more so than some of the illegal substances baseball players use to get an edge. I’ll refrain from jumping to any conclusions about how much or little it affects performance, especially when compared to other stimulants and psychoactive drugs. I just think it would be amusing if caffeine actually helped athletes more than certain steroids and amphetamines.

The Yankee impact on ticket sales
Open Thread: Yanks play hooky
  • Tom Zig

    I had always thought caffeine would help performance. Good to know that a study confirms my beliefs. It certainly helps with doing homework. I’m sure there is an even bigger correlation with those people, like myself, who drink coffee on a daily basis.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      I’ve read for the longest time that drinking a certain level of caffeine before a workout can enhance your performance. This, of course, was in Men’s Health or some other workout magazine, and wasn’t backed up with a study like the one cited here. It makes complete sense. Increases blood flow and metabolism. One would think that would lead to other beneficial effects.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Increases blood flow… One would think that would lead to other beneficial effects.

        Viagra/Cialis CEO: “FML”.

      • ceciguante

        i’ve read articles that did cite studies, saying caffeine enhances aerobic performance, too. i’m pretty certain there have been cognitive performance studies too, but i don’t know the results.

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    • Tom Zig


      • Spaceman.Spiff


        • Chris


  • Mike R. – Retire 21

    I would have bever graduated college had it not been for caffeine. Thank you caffeine. I love you…and this time I mean it.

  • jsbrendog

    i know in division 1 college sports that levels of caffeine are monitored. I was friends with a lot of the wrestlers and too much caffeine in the system could result in a failed test. therefore they avopided red bulls etc like the plague.

    once they got very upset when they fond out we put redbull in our jungle juice.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I quit caffeine three years ago on a bet, and I can honestly say I don’t miss it one bit. Its easier to go to sleep and you don’t feel exhausted when you wake up. The hardest part was giving up Mountain Dew Code Red. mmmmm Code Red.

    • Ed

      Code Red is great. But the ingredient list is weird.

      Despite being Cherry flavored, Orange Juice is above the cherry flavoring on the ingredient list.

      Even weirder, Orange Juice is higher up on the ingredient list for Code Red than it is for the Orange Mountain Dew.

      • Mike Pop

        Code Red is EXTREME!!!

  • Ed

    I just think it would be amusing if caffeine actually helped athletes more than certain steroids and amphetamines.

    I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

    These guys pay big money for HGH, when the studies show it doesn’t help at all but potentially hurts you.

    And then there’s Posada, with the performance enhancer of choice being pissing on his hands.

    Think about the people we’re talking about here. Most of them either skipped college or breezed through on an athletic scholarship. We’re not talking top intellectuals here, so we shouldn’t be surprised if the things they do on their own aren’t as great as they think they are.

  • Jay CT

    Keith Law talks about how steroids do not help the athletes, but the expansion era does. Trying to figure out why he thinks that way. I usually really like his stuff, but I can’t figure this one out. Did the ‘roids not help Bonds raise his career high in home runs by like 20? Anyone know what study he is following?

    • Thomas

      Maybe it really was the flax seed oil.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Expansion adds players to the league that shouldn’t otherwise be there.

      • Ed

        There are also far more international players than there used to be. Before Nomo there really weren’t asian players in the league. There’s also far more Latin American players, especially Dominican ones, than their used to be. When you draw players from more sources, you’re going to find more talent.

      • Thomas

        That is a good point about expansion. However, the last expansion was in 1998 and in 1998 Bonds hit 37 HR and slugged .609. In 1999 and 2000, Bonds hit 34 (in 102 games) and 49 HR and slugged .618 and .688, respectively. It wasn’t until 2001, three years after expansion, that Bonds hit 73 HR and slugged .863. His ISO also jumped over 150 points from 2000 to 2001 and only 24 points from 1997 to 1998.

        So I don’t see expansion as the only reason for Bonds increase.

    • whozat

      “Did the ‘roids not help Bonds raise his career high in home runs by like 20?”

      He has the single season home run record. He probably did steroids, maybe HGH. He ALSO played during an expansion era. Which of these had a greater effect on his HR total? PEDs? Or facing reams of crappy pitching?

      Many assume the former, but really…we don’t actually know. This is one of those things…it SEEMS intuitively true that making big muscles helps you hit lots more homers, but driving the ball a long way has more to do with getting the bat head to the ball at the right point in the strike zone than it does with bulging muscles.

      • whozat

        It might be interesting to use hit tracker data to study the average distance of homers when ARod was on roids and when he was not. After you control for the park factors in texas, we might be able to figure out what (if any) length was added to his homers on average, and then see if there are any homers that might not have been if he wasn’t on steroids. Not with a huge amount of confidence, but it could be interesting.

  • DocBooch

    Try drinking a red bull then playing some COD4 or 5….you’ll pwn. Unless of course you already suck so bad it don’t matter. I don’t want people thinking that they could drink a couple red bulls then go out and hit home runs. ;)

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