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I admit, I love coffee.....

I thought I had heard somewhere how coffee (caffeinated drinks) can cause stiffness in muscles. I Mountain bike quite a bit and have no issues, but when I run I quite often pull a muscle in my calf, sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left. I do stretch, maybe as not as much as possible. Even with the stretching I often feel stiff. Is there anything to the caffeine causing stiffness, and muscle pulls? It has only been in my calves. Maybe it is from the biking? It is discouraging as I also like to run. I am active with strength training, which consists mostly of body weight training.

I am cutting back on coffee, one big mug in the AM (about 2 cups). I drink some unsweetened ice tea. Mostly water and no soda.

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I've supplemented with caffeine in the past and have never experienced anything like that. Are you cramping or actually fully pulling something? If just cramping, it may be a dehydration issue.

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If you mountain bike quite a bit, you should probably be already familiar with the issues of hydration and electrolyte balance. Stretch properly, keep hydrated, and keep up with the electrolytes (bananas for potassium, sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade for electrolytes and simple sugars, etc.), and you shouldn't be cramping, unless there is some other issue.

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all good advice-but along with AGE comes all kind of things that don't work like they once did !!!

My wife reminds me of that!!!!

I am 43. I keep well hydrated, I eat on or two banannas a day but I do not suppliment for potassium. Cramping has not been and issue other than 20+ mile mtn bike ride and I know that was from inadequate hyrdration/electrolites. As a rule I avoid all sports drinks.

I think it boils down to more frequent and proper stretching. I am cutting back on the coffee as well, which should be better for me :-)

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Are you overstretching? Maybe try some jumping jacks with light stretching instead. The older you get, the longer it will take to get warmed up and loose. Are you coming out too fast too early? Running negative splits every time you run is a great way to "train" without getting technical.

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You can stretch muscles and still have joint related stiffness, as well. Check out http://www.mobilitywod.com/ - Kelly Starrett is a hoot to watch. Especially go back toward the beginnings of the blog, where he starts with simpler stuff (the newer stuff is getting pretty gnarly). Open those hips and shoulders, be sure you're stretching piriformis and psoas, get a foam roller and work those IT bands and quads. Party time!

I don't think caffeine is your issue, but yeah, if you're not getting enough fluid intake already, drinking a lot of it can make you more dehydrated.

You may also be short on magnesium - be careful supplementing, though. Work your dose up slowly - otherwise, you could, uh... blow it out your rear? blink.gif Magnesium glycinate is probably the best option in that regard...

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caffeine will not cause stiffness, but it is a diuretic so it can contribute indirectly to muscle cramps as they are a result of inadequate hydration and/or commonly a lack of potassium.

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Caffeine is linked to muscle stiffness in certain groups of people. It's a CNS stimulant...it can have as wide a range of effects as you can imagine on those who are more sensitized to it's physical effects.

Best bet it to slowly back off, and see if it helps.

Oh, and bananas really don't contain exceptional amounts of potassium...try kale

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  • 5 months later...

With respects to coffee and hydration I defer to a dietician I know and trust completely..My wife. Yes she is a college educated, state licensed Dietician employed as such in a major hospital in the Houston medical center. Believe it or not...Coffee is a one for one exchange for water (1, 8 oz. cup of water consummed = 1, 8 oz. cup cup of coffee consummed). Yes, it has diuretic effects but those effects tend to interrupt your shooting when your blader becomes full. Still, I rarely see any shooters hydrating, during a match, with coffee or coffee like drinks. Sports drinks that are reduced sugar or sugar free and have good potasium content are reasonable as are bananas and some of the energy trail mixes and one can never ignore water. For me, during a 6 stage local match here in Houston, I drink 4-6 bottles of fluid..2 g2's and 2-4 waters. I also eat an energy mix of nuts (obviously I'm not allergic), dried fruit and carob. For a match starting at 9am and ending about 1-2pm I don't get hungry, dehydrated nor suffer cramps. Oh, btw...did I mention that I drink 3-4 cups of coffee per day? For me that's quite a come down. When I was working night shift I drank 10-15 cups a night. sssssshhhhhaaaaakkkkeeeeeeeeeessssss.......meeeeeeeeeeee. nahhhhh. lol. Tango Charlie out.

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I also love coffee very much, I compared my cardio indicators and even after one cup of coffee my heart beats twice as fast and it gives energy. Without coffee, my heartbeat is 60 beats per minute, but after coffee I have 111 beats per minute.

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