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  1. #1
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    Caffine or something stronger?

    Just wondering what products people use to stay up all night at endurance/24 hour races. Coffee, Mountain Dew, something stronger like No-Doze, or do you just use your massive willpower? What are your thoughts on the ethics of using stimulants like these?

    I for one have always tried to go clean w/o stimulants or caffine, but then I crash at 2am and have to nap for a couple of hours.

  2. #2
    stay thirsty, my friends
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    I haven't done any of these long races so don't rely on my opinion . . .

    But has anyone tried sleeping a lot the week before the event? Like 10-12 hours a night? Maybe it'll help a person stay awake for the long race.
    "With that said, until you have done a STR group ride- YOU HAVE NOT LIVED!"
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  3. #3
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    I have tried yarious things. I started with Coke, moved to Guarana, felt like I was having a heart attack, and backed off. I now drink some Burn energy drink through the night hours, but not too much. It does help.
    Getting a whole lot of sleep the week before the race would not be a good idea. I read a lot about circadian rhythm and sleep deprivation back when I took things more seriously. You would do yourself more harm than good as your body/mind would adapt to getting more sleep. The end result would be more that you'll be even more sleep deprived during the race. You should make sure you stick to your usual schedule and get your normal amount of sleep.
    I have adjusted my sleep schedule (slowly) to adapt to time zone changes if I was traveling for a race. I believe it helped me get a third in Tahoe three (I think) time zones away.
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  4. #4
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    Staying awake is not really a huge problem since your heartrate is elevated. But, there are times where I feel a bit sluggish. The easiest way to pick it back up at night is with a good kick in the junk with a can of Red Bull.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KERKOVEJ
    Staying awake is not really a huge problem since your heartrate is elevated. But, there are times where I feel a bit sluggish. The easiest way to pick it back up at night is with a good kick in the junk with a can of Red Bull.
    Tastes like the can.

    Makes you do the Can Can.
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  6. #6
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    Massive doses of stimulants are bad. They do crazy bad things to your whole body and can be counter productive to the cause. If you do any, a moderate intake is acceptable.
    If you keep moving you will find it less necessary to rely on them.

  7. #7
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    Guess it depends if your soloing or teaming the event...i wouldnt drink alot of that junk soloing as much as i do on a team drinking a Bull can 30 min before every lap...say every 4-5 hours at night.....

    But that works for my body....gotta see what you can take...

    but then again sometime around 2-3pm i drink a COORS LIGHT which really bolsters performance

    -Boz
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SS Boz
    But that works for my body....gotta see what you can take...

    but then again sometime around 2-3pm i drink a COORS LIGHT which really bolsters performance

    -Boz
    Drinking beer during an endurance race totally zaps my will to live.

  9. #9
    your ankles are fat
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    don't stop...

    for too long, esp at night. the longer your breaks are, the harder it is to keep riding.

  10. #10
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    definately don't fit in

    Well again I seem to be the one who doesn't fit in,I love light bikes and can after can of redbull.In fact at the mcnaughton 100 trail run this year I drank 10+ cans of redbull and then again at leanhorse 100 I consumed not as many but around 6 I think.before any short race I eat a double chocolate dounut and pound back a can of the bull and it has yet to let me down.
    Cash wise it's not a smooth move but I like that edgy feeling during the evening and at night when I still feel like going full bore and am trying to steal all the seconds I can from the clock.
    Can I compete with out it?Hell ya as I have in the past on numerous occasions and will again at most events.But if I can get it.......
    I would like to also point out that locally we have some top teir adventure racers ( worlds,eco etc) and I was told by two of them that it is very very common for the atheletes to take stimulants during these events .but then again they are going substantially father thatn 99.9% of bike races and runs.

  11. #11
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    Honestly, many people get supertired doing long enduro events because they are exporting more calories then they are taking in. Many times all you have to do is down a bunch of carbohydrates (not necessarily in the form of simple sugars) and the calories from this will pick you up a bit. I guess what I'm saying is that you can't fuel yourself on caffeine alone - it's a neurological stimulant but it doesn't take the place of actual energy (in the form of carbos) getting to your muscles. That said, I do use mountain dew to help keep that mental edge going.

  12. #12
    Got A Lust for Life...
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    2mg of crystal meth every two hours...does the trick everytime!!

    k...joke....

  13. #13
    your ankles are fat
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfab25
    2mg of crystal meth every two hours...does the trick everytime!!

    k...joke....
    tried it...made me too itchy...

  14. #14
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    Sounds like the best way to stay up is just to keep going. Looking back, every time I succumbed to the temptation of sleep I had just eaten and/or taken a big break (15 min+). I was just wondering because I had heard an ultramarathoner saying that she took No-Doze at 11 and 4 to keep going though the night. I hadn't heard that we bikers were doing that, but suspected so. Glad to hear it isn't so.

    So how about painkillers? None for me thanks.

  15. #15
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    I usually drink 2-3 cans of Burn, the strongest energy drink, at half can doses during a 24 hour race. If it's cold I may substitute warm coffee & soy milk instead or green tea. Too much caffine will screw with my nerves and stomach, the last thing I need is to crash a 4 am.

    I have witnessed racers downing a can of Burn at every lap while solo'ing the at the Burn 24 Hour Challenge, but since it's free and in unlimited supply throughout the race they don't hesitate. To each their own.

    Eddie O
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supreme Justice SRC
    So how about painkillers? None for me thanks.
    Prescription or OTC? I take a healthy dose of vitamin I (ibuprofen) every so often but nothing stronger and not Mega doses (which will totally F up your body.)

  17. #17
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    hmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by namrita
    I usually drink 2-3 cans of Burn, the strongest energy drink, at half can doses during a 24 hour race. If it's cold I may substitute warm coffee & soy milk instead or green tea. Too much caffine will screw with my nerves and stomach, the last thing I need is to crash a 4 am.

    I have witnessed racers downing a can of Burn at every lap while solo'ing the at the Burn 24 Hour Challenge, but since it's free and in unlimited supply throughout the race they don't hesitate. To each their own.

    Eddie O
    tell me more about this wonder drink and event.

  18. #18
    Topeak-Ergon Racing
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    The wonder drink can be found at www.sourcedrinks.com and a review of the product line is at http://bevnet.com/reviews/sourceburn/ . Where are you located? I can direct you to the nearest retail supplier.

    The race info is at www.burn24hour.com. It's a grassroot event in Wilkeboro, NC at Dark Mountain trails held May 28th & 29th. It's a great course...plenty of climbing, not overly technical, and just plain fun to ride. We've got all the amenities you could ask for....onsite camping, hotel 4 miles away, FREE BURN, give aways, cash for top solo riders, great prizes, use of the swimming hole near by, Big Wheel races.......

  19. #19
    one less car
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    No Caffeine the wk before

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie O
    The wonder drink can be found at www.sourcedrinks.com and a review of the product line is at http://bevnet.com/reviews/sourceburn/ . Where are you located? I can direct you to the nearest retail supplier.

    The race info is at www.burn24hour.com. It's a grassroot event in Wilkeboro, NC at Dark Mountain trails held May 28th & 29th. It's a great course...plenty of climbing, not overly technical, and just plain fun to ride. We've got all the amenities you could ask for....onsite camping, hotel 4 miles away, FREE BURN, give aways, cash for top solo riders, great prizes, use of the swimming hole near by, Big Wheel races.......
    The source 24 was great in '04 when i did it... inexpensive entry, great swag, well-run.

    This only works if you're a real caffeine-freak to start with, but try abstaining from all caffeine for one wk before your solo 24 or whatnot. On race day, at about 8-9pm, when you're just beginnning to feal some fatigue, throw-back some caffeine - and your body will respond to the stimulate like it's crack.

  20. #20
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    I definately looking into this race

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie O
    The wonder drink can be found at www.sourcedrinks.com and a review of the product line is at http://bevnet.com/reviews/sourceburn/ . Where are you located? I can direct you to the nearest retail supplier.

    The race info is at www.burn24hour.com. It's a grassroot event in Wilkeboro, NC at Dark Mountain trails held May 28th & 29th. It's a great course...plenty of climbing, not overly technical, and just plain fun to ride. We've got all the amenities you could ask for....onsite camping, hotel 4 miles away, FREE BURN, give aways, cash for top solo riders, great prizes, use of the swimming hole near by, Big Wheel races.......
    I'll start the web hunt for this race as it soundes kick asss.
    I live in winnipeg,manitoba ,canada so I'm not sure where I could try the product though.
    Thanks
    Dallas

  21. #21
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    the "juice"

    I definitely use caffeine but also try to meter it out as much as possible. And it is certainly no substitute for sound calorie consumption practice.

    My 1st choice is some Peets Costa Rica single origin brewed in a press but that is not always practical....

    I also like Red Bull sugar free and Hammer Gel Espresso with 50mg caffeine per serving. I tried Burn earlier this year and like the flavor but their sugar free is harder to find.

    And the advice to keep moving is also key. Hardest part of any course is the first 50 meters as you leave the pit, as I was reminded this weekend.

    Cheers,
    Karl Etzel
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kretzel
    Hardest part of any course is the first 50 meters as you leave the pit
    Aint that the truth.

    I like a red bull during the night just to keep me alert. Coke is ok, but after a couple bad experiences I think I am going to leave it behind next time. Being sleepy isnt really something I have had to deal with during a 24 hour event. Instead it is mental fatigue, just zoning out...next thing you know your are piddlying along at 4mph in your granny gear dreaming about a steak dinner. The caffeine can help keep you alert and focused.
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  23. #23
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    While crewing RAAM 2005 I learned to love Starbucks Doubleshots.

    Living on the road with little comfort or sleep grants you the clarity to appreciate the simplest pleasures, like finding a late-night Subway open in the middle of nowhere Arizona or walking out of 117 degree heat into a crisp & cool 70 degree post office. Doubleshots rank high among these.

    I kept a couple on hand and used 1/2 cans sparingly, ingesting a 1-can-per-12-hours average in the last 36 hours of racing. It is more of a comfort beverage than anything, but it does offer a minor caffeine kick.
    ....::::::::: WeRideBikes:::::::::....

  24. #24
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    I know a very experienced multi-day adventure racer who also swears by the doubleshots.
    Mike

  25. #25
    Its got what plants crave
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    Stimulants seem like a bad idea. Maybe a little in moderation, but most of those will make me CRASH. I can't imagine drinking 6 cans of redbull in one day.. I'd have a heart attack!

  26. #26
    your ankles are fat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Stimulants seem like a bad idea. Maybe a little in moderation, but most of those will make me CRASH. I can't imagine drinking 6 cans of redbull in one day.. I'd have a heart attack!

    I drank a sixpack of Redbull and a grande starbucks americano at work/shop a while back...
    it made me really mellow, honestly...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by alizbee
    Aint that the truth.

    Being sleepy isnt really something I have had to deal with during a 24 hour event. Instead it is mental fatigue, just zoning out...next thing you know your are piddlying along at 4mph in your granny gear dreaming about a steak dinner.
    THAT sums up so much!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  28. #28
    brg
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    THAT sums up so much!
    or pancakes as the case may be, eh?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by brg
    or pancakes as the case may be, eh?
    LOL brg - yesiree. And Bacon. Waffles work too. Hmm, as does french toast, breakfast burritos and any other breakfast food, come to think of it! Throw a bloody mary in and, oh, wait! Not for racing though....

    I will be headed up Boulder way this spring sometime, btw - and look forward to some excellent breakfast(s) in your 'hood. Oh, and some riding I guess! Late spring or so. Got some friends in Ft. Collins and a few other Boulderites to finally go check in on - including that weirdo that posts around here, RWT. More later...
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  30. #30
    brg
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    I will be headed up Boulder way this spring sometime, btw - and look forward to some excellent breakfast(s) in your 'hood.

    cool! let me know when you are here and I'll treat you and RWT to breakfast at the Walnut. (and add you guys to my "walnut collection")

    The "Sunday breakfast special" is pretty good - french toast dipped in pancake batter. YUMMY!!! I just call it carbo loading for my Sunday ride.

  31. #31
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    I third the idea of the Starbucks Doubleshot. More for not zoning out, or sort of a safety thing at 3am. I don't see the point of using a can per lap or other, but to each his own. Complex carbs, with some soy protien mixed in seemed to give a consistant burn, vs. using simple carbs with the associated glycemic spikes and troughs. The troughs seem to get deeper in the dark of night. Also, I think someone mentioned the Hammer Gel Espresso w/ 50mg per serving. This seems to work well if not over indulged.

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