Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Caffeine and Cramping

sbuxI drank some coffee this afternoon.  Be glad that you’re not within range of a caffeinated Tremonte.  

Now my calves are twitching a bit.  I generally attribute cramping and twitching to a few things:

  • dehydration – by far the most common cause … frequent issue in races (see: that year that Lake Stevens 70.3 was really hot) … also possible for me today, as I went to a concert last night and got a bit dehydrated
  • electrolyte deficiencies – sodium and magnesium are the most common culprits
  • fatigue – hard workouts and races play into cramping … I also frequently cramp in a swim if I ran or biked immediately beforehand

I am now wondering whether caffeine is also a factor on its own.  I suppose that as a diuretic it contributes to dehydration, and it may also contribute to electrolyte balance … but have any of you heard that caffeine is a possible direct cause of cramping?


  1. I drank some coffee this afternoon. Be glad that you’re not within range of a caffeinated Tremonte.

    >>>>Trust me....I'm glad i'm not.

  2. Its not a direct cause.

    It does a few things:

    CNS stimulant. Makes you awake and all that jazz.

    It also causes your liver to dump sugar into your blood stream and also primes your fatty acid metabolism. That is mainly why it is effective for weightloss...till you get used to it. Also why it increases indurance for sprinty people like me.

    And the thing that I think is causing your problem is that it can mask fatigue. You might feel like you shouldn't be cramping when in reality you are more tired than you actually are.