Sunday, 15 April 2012

Coffee with tennis - useful

Quite a few internet articles out there advise against taking coffee before tennis.

I disagree.
I use it when I play tennis.

Coffee, or the active ingredient caffeine, used to be banned in competitive sports up until 2004.

A word of caution
I have been taking coffee for a while now, so I have some immunity to the adverse side effects. 
If you are new or are a light coffee drinker, do take or use what I say with caution.
On the other hand, those folks that are heavy coffee drinkers, this might not work for you.

Benefits to my game
1) Personally, it makes me react faster and concentrate better.

2) If you like playing at the net, it works splendid.

3) Towards the later stages of a long session, I find myself having more concentration and energy than the other folks.

How I use coffee
Bear in mind that I take coffee during tennis for the benefits to my game, not to enjoy the drink.
So the way I prepare or consume it may be slightly offensive to the coffee connoisseurs out there.

I prepare a mug, around the size of a cup.
I usually use the cheap 3-in-1 coffee mixes (as warned, I am in this for the benefits to my game!!), add a bit of hot water to dissolve then fill up the cup with ... chocolate milk.

Why chocolate milk? Here are some articles on it helping recovery after exercise. Another.

And yes, if you do it correctly, you, my dear sir, are going to be bringing a cafe mocha to tennis !!!
If you don't have the chocolate milk, not to worry, a regular coffee works as well.

I also bring some isotonic sports drinks to tennis. I prefer un-carbonated ones such as H-TWO-O.

Ok so far?
Now here's the slightly tricky part.

1) Before the game starts, I take a big gulp of coffee.

2) Then during breaks, I take a mouthful of coffee and a mouthful of the sports drink.
Ok, so anyone of you out there that aren't disgusted, can read on.

Ok, the reason I'm doing what I'm doing is as follows - 
I want the level of coffee in my body to be enough to give me the benefits but not the adverse side effects.

Slightly Technical bits starts: 
The following are the technical explanation which some of you might want to skip.

If one considers caffeine a drug, then the technical explanation is as follows.
Page 2 and 3 will explain what I hope to achieve. 

The big gulp in the beginning is similar to what pharmackinetics call a "Loading Dose".
This brings the coffee in my body to what I hope to be above the "Minimum Effective Concentration", but not high enough (I hope) to be above the "Minimum Toxic Concentration".

To mitigate against the side effects, I prefer to sip in small quantities during breaks etc.

The sips during breaks are basically me trying to get the graph on page 3, "LD (oral) followed by oral maintenance dosing".
Technical bits ends.

More precautions
Each person will eliminate (the technical term for getting coffee out of your system) at different rates.

I would advise any of you out there if you are planning to try this out to be careful and do in moderation first.

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