Caffeine and muscle loss

  • Jul 27, 2008 12:08 AM GMT
    So, I used to find that I had all the energy I needed to get through my entire day. I'd go to school for 4-7 hours, go get my lifting and cardio in, and go home/hang out with friends.

    Unfortunately, I believe perhaps as time goes on it's become more and more difficult to keep that kind of lifestyle up (especially with my recent transfer to UCLA.) As such, I've started drinking coffee to help get me through my day. I always drink it black, often with a shot of espresso. I've been drinking it for maybe two months now, and I've noticed a significant amount of muscle loss (fat loss too.)

    I know that stimulants can increase one's metabolic rate. I was just curious about how many calories the world at large thinks I should up my diet by to offset the shrinkage. :] (I currently ingest 2750. I'm trying to maintain a fairly lean yet defined figure.)

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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    Jul 29, 2008 5:15 AM GMT
    Seems I remember reading somewhere that caffiene (and alcohol) can interfere with muscle recovery/rebuilding after workouts. It can screw up your blood sugars, making you crash & as part of a vicious cycle, you then want more caffiene to rebound from the drop---its very addictive.

    As you mentioned, there might also be the added issue of metabolic increase from it too.
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    Jun 25, 2009 9:05 AM GMT
    Caffeine raises the heart and respiratory rate, so in turn, yes, your metabolic rate does increase.

    If you don't want to eat more (2750 is a lot, although I don't know what your RMR is..) cut the cardio out. I actually picked up this book at the bookstore (duh!) titled "The New Rules of Lifting". The author goes on to say "When you combine serious strength training with serious endurance exercise, your body will choose endurance over muscle and strength." he goes on about why this is for the rest of the chapter, regardless, it was still an interesting read.

    Are you also supplementing protein/carbs before and after your workouts? After an intense workout your body is in a catabolic state. If you don't supplement or eat right after your workout, your body will break down muscle for energy.

    Also according to my trainer textbooks, the reason why muscles atrophy are because they are not being used.

    My recommendation: cut the cardio, and focus more on the weights, try something like an intense circuit. I've found that with most my clients, It's a great way to lose bodyfat%, build/maintain muscle, and still get in a cardio workout because you're constantly jumping from exercise to exercise, with minimal to no rest at all. This will also cut your gym time in half as well, meaning more time for school and friends, and you don't have to quit your caffeine addiction :]

    Hopes this helps

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 21, 2009 1:58 AM GMT
    Some benefit from drinking coffee after workout too though:

    Senior author Professor John Hawley said the research found athletes who added caffeine to their post-exercise meal had 66% more glycogen in their muscles than those who ate only carbohydrates.

    "If you have 66% more fuel for the next day's training or competition, there's no question you'll be able to go further and faster," said Hawley, head of RMIT's exercise metabolism group. "While it has been established that carbohydrates and caffeine improve a variety of athletic performances, this is the first study that has revealed combining caffeine with carbohydrates after you've exercised can actually help your muscles refuel more rapidly."
  • B71115

    Posts: 482

    Jul 21, 2009 2:52 AM GMT
    Yeah the medical community has so many different theories on everything, particularly as it relates to weight training, which they really don't study much. I had heard that caffeine was bad somehow in regards to protein, but then a doctor told me it can aid in protein usage. Who knows. Every study contradicts another one.
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    Jul 21, 2009 3:08 AM GMT
    Google on caffeine and sports performance. Caffeine has been used for ages (since the most early times) for sports performance. Like aspirin, it has an amazing array of effects, with almost all of them positive.

    With regard to calories. Let's say you weigh 175 as you state in your profile and you're 8% fat (guessing from your images). Now, that means you have about 14 pounds of fat on you and about 161 pounds of meat and bones. Take that number times 15 and you get 2415, just to keep alive. Then add 600 calories for lifting, and another 600 calories for cardio / per hour (if you do it right), if you want to gain a bit more muscle, ANOTHER 600 calories, so you are at 4215 for your daily calorie requirements. The guy that told you 2750 seems long doesn't know what he's talking about; is clueless. He could not have possibly have done the science to give you sound advice. All you have to do is to do the math. If you are generally a fast person add another 300 calories to 600 calories. If you are generally a slow person subtract another 300 to 600 calories.

    Likely, the reason you're feeling so run down is you're not eating enough. Throw some good fats in like peanut butter, almond butter, avocado, and add more complex carbs like rice, potatoes, pasta. Be sure to get simple sugars like juice, candy, fruit, before and AFTER, your workouts during the golden hour.

    You may not be getting enough rest. Make sure you feel well rested, and don't train if you're feeling like shit. Listen to your body. If you have a craving, go for it. Discipline is one thing, and it's important, BUT, so is listening to your body.

    If you're losing muscle, you're likely catabolic, running a caloric deficit. Do the math on it yourself, and be honest with yourself, and go from there.

    If you're running a caloric deficit you'll feel like crap, and get small as your body eats away your muscle, and slows down to protect from the famine you've introduced.

    Note that some folks say you need up to 20 calories per pound of lean muscle mass to maintain. Situations vary. Almost certainly, you're not feeding yourself.

    When I workout three times a day, and get super-lean, I'll bring my calories to near 4000.

    You have to stoke the furnace.

    There's no reason to drop the cardio. You need it to maintain your cardiovascular health, and it'll help you in every aspect of your exercise program (to stop it is bad advice...; cut back maybe, but, mostly, EAT), but, you have to make SURE that you eat enough to sustain your activity level.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:50 PM GMT
    I've always been confused about caffeine and drinking soda prior to, during, or after a work out. Then I see trainers at the gym drinking soda or other beverages with caffeine (even first thing in the morning).

    IF you don't drink caffeine regularly, you will feel its effect when you do have it.
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    Jul 26, 2009 9:10 PM GMT
    So called energy drinks are often sugar and caffeine.

    If you care, just google up "caffeine exercise performance".

    In a nut shell, caffeine changes your perception of being tired, allowing you to train longer. It also mobilizes fatty acids. It also lowers your blood sugar. It also raises your heart rate, and bp. You can move bigger loads, longer, with less perceived exertion. There have been many studies done on it, and there is a WEALTH of information available in those studies.

    Caffeine has been, for a VERY long time, the performance enhancing drug of choice.

    We have double standards on performance enhancement, however. E.g. raising your RBC / EPO can be done a few different ways.

    1. Train at high altitude - Legal.
    2. Hyperbariac chamber - Legal.
    3. Take AAS. Legal by prescription, but banned.
    4. Take EPO. Legal by perscription, but banned.

    Some folks have genetics defects / illnesses that allow them to perform at a higher level. E.g. Michael Phelps has a disease (I forget the name) that makes his limbs excessively long. That disease also changes the way he clears lactic acid (much faster than most folks). For now, that's not banned, but, the question gets more interesting in folks who have disorders affecting myostatin. That allows them to be extraordinarily muscular.

    Back to caffeine, you lose muscle by not working out, having to few calories, or disease. That's about it. You can actually gain muscle, as you grow older, provides your hormones are in the right place.
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    Jul 26, 2009 9:18 PM GMT
    Listen to Chucky, he knows his stuff.
  • Makethechoice

    Posts: 1

    Mar 09, 2010 1:34 AM GMT
    Well first off what does caffeine do for the body, like chuck stated it has many great effects. First off what most people are looking for is burning calories. It helps mobilize free fatty acids in your blood so that they are utilized as a fuel source faster, meaning they don't get attached to your body as fat. It is also an appetite suppressant, curbing those cravings you get from time to time. It helps retard exhaustion and helps with recovery after lifting/exercise. meaning you can workout harder, and longer and not get as tired and sore from the workout. It also changes your perception of how hard the exercise is, making it seam like it is easier to lift the weight. It allows endurance athletes to perform longer and harder and has been shown to increase strength in weight lifters.

    The down side of caffeine; its a diuretic, meaning you need to drink extra water to stay hydrated. It increases ones blood pressure, so if you have high blood pressure normally and take caffeine before your workout, you may have a higher chance of a stroke or heart attack when you lift (lifting also increases blood pressure). It can make you jittery and uneasy, some people just don't like how jittery they feel while lifting and all day long. It can cause an upset stomach for some people, making it hard to get a good lift in if you have to run to the bathroom all the time icon_smile.gif

    Research can show caffeine helping or inhibiting atheltic performance, you have to know how to dissect the article to see if its a legit peer reviewed article or one written by the supplement companies, so be aware of what you read.

    Now on to the nitty gritty, how much caffeine to take. nutritionist will recommend as a dietary/atheltic supplement take 2-5 mg/kg body weight (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) So if you are 220 lbs, or 100 kg, you could have 200 to 500 mg of caffeine a day. A standard cup of coffee or red bull drink has about 80-90 mg of caffeine in it.

    As for your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) or calories burnt throughout your day, you need to know your RMR (resting metabolic rate) lifestyle and activities and the thermogenic effect of food (calories used to digest the food you eat). your RMR can be done by going to a university or some gyms that can test it, the rest you can get off the internet by plugging in your weight etc into a formula to spit out a number. Once you get all three of these numbers you can figure out how many calories you truely need. by using the formula chuck gave you there can be quite a bit of error. if he was off by 500 kcal/ day you would be putting on one lb each week and vice versa, if he undershot it by 500 kcal/day you would be losing 1 lb each week.

    As for the drinking of soda before lifting, that may be for the sugar, to spike the glucose levels; many endurance athletes will drink flat soda before and event to get lots of quick energy from the sugars... or it may just be that he is stupid and drinks soda before lifting icon_smile.gif

    My professional opinion is much like patty in that you need to cut out some of your cardio in order to keep your mass, or just do intense interval cardio for around 30 to 40 min max a couple days a week. and of course if you want the mass you need to have your reps down below 8 with quite a few sets and heavier weight to start the hypertrophy phase of lifting.

  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Mar 09, 2010 1:52 AM GMT
    I read the fitness magazines and all the guys who profess to be experts in them. One issue, caffeine is good, next issue caffeine is bad. Even in medicine, there are doctors who say caffeine causes cancer, and others say it help recover from it. Do you like coffee? If you get a happy feeling from it being in your day, drink a cup or two. If you're only drinking it or taking suplements because of something you read, lay off it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2010 2:30 AM GMT
    Considering how old this thread is...
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    Mar 09, 2010 4:00 AM GMT
    The American Heart Association, and a cardiologist, was just on CNN a few days ago.

    "Folks who have over 4 cups of coffee have an 18% LOWER risk of cardiac arrhythmia."

    They're not quite sure why, but, a long list of studies says that's the case.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2010 8:00 PM GMT
    Love my coffee before the gym, really gets me alert and energized for my workouts. Notice a huge difference in my attitude toward my workouts and energy level since I started drinking it before my workouts.
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    Mar 23, 2010 6:50 AM GMT
    Caffeine leaches calcium from the body and is acid forming instead of alkalizing.....which is not good.

    If you are going to ingest it for performance purposes please try something like yerba mate's rich in chlorophyll, antioxidants, numerous trace minerals and is a digestive aid. And it contains caffeine.

    Follow up post workout with gelatinized maca to nourish your adrenals.

    Don't take fucking caffeine pills.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Mar 23, 2010 7:01 AM GMT
    Yeah I love coffee I hope I don't get fat if I give it up icon_eek.gif
  • mynyun

    Posts: 1346

    Mar 23, 2010 7:57 AM GMT
    makavelli saidConsidering how old this thread is...

    Still useful info.!