Caffeine Myths

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman busts the myths surrounding caffeine causing dehydration and rapid heart rate in endurance athletes.

Video Transcription:

Good morning, my bad ass bikers, rocking runners, and outstanding obstacle course racers, and other endurance friends. Matt Mosman, Chief Endurance Officer at EndurElite, the maker of premium supplements for endurance athletes and endurance training, and supplement expert.

So, I gotta admit, I'm a little bit fired up today. One could say I'm about as mad as a wild barn cat right now. You Mid-Westerners know what I'm talking about when I say that. So, yesterday, I received a email from a competitor basically saying, "You know what, Matt? You're an idiot for including caffeine in your PerformElite pre-workout." Now, why I'm mad, is they said I was stupid because I included caffeine, and that by doing so, is gonna dehydrate people who take it and it's gonna cause their hearts to explode during endurance exercise.

The Most Common Caffeine Myths

So, today, we are gonna bust those myths and put them to bed. So, I'm gonna get real serious here, and this one's for you, Rob Herman. I'm gonna turn my hat around to show you how serious I am, just like Sylvester Stallone in that arm wrestling movie, "Over the Top."

Myth #1: Caffeine Causes Dehydration

So the next time your training buddy, or, you know, anybody else tells you that caffeine is gonna dehydrate you, or, you know, send your heart rate through the roof when you're exercising, I want you to take your right hand, lift it up in the air, and give them a quick slap on the face...or back. Because we're endurance athletes, we're pacifists. And I want you to go like this and just say, "That is a bunch of poppycock." Because it is.

Now, from previous videos, we know that caffeine, hands down, is one of the most vetted and proven ergogenic aid when it comes to increasing endurance performance. Meaning, it delays time to fatigue. It can improve time trial performance. It makes heart exercise seem a lot easier. It can improve focus and reaction time, you know, especially, like, if you're on a bike and you're navigating some sweet single track, you know, it can keep you on task. And there's many other functions to this. And study after study, after study has demonstrated this. And I'm gonna link a couple of studies below this video for you guys to check out, you know, showing how beneficial caffeine is.

But let's get back to the two myths that are complete crap, basically. The first being that caffeine causes dehydration. So this myth was based on one study performed back in, I think, like, 1968, where the researcher had individuals take caffeine with 12 ounces of water and he noticed higher urine output. Well, duh. You're drinking 12 ounces of water. What do you expect to happen? So, it's not actually the caffeine that is gonna dehydrate you. Sure, you may have a little bit of increased urine output, but based on the amount of water you're taking with it, or if you're in a hydrated state already, it's not gonna dehydrate you. That's complete crap.

Myth #2: Caffeine Will Make Your Heart Explode During Exercise

The second is that caffeine is gonna send your heart rate so high that it's gonna explode during exercise. Again, complete crap. Caffeine has actually been shown to lower heart rate during submaximal exercise, so at easier intensities. But even as you go up into higher intensities, like during racing and hard workouts, it's not gonna shoot it up by, you know, 20, 30, 40 beats per minute. At most, maybe five to ten beats per minute. So, it's not gonna explode. Now, that's not to say, you know, if you, you know, take more than the recommend amount of caffeine, like if you're slamming 700 mg of caffeine before a race or workout, that you're not gonna get some jitteriness, some anxiousness, some nausea, and maybe feel like your heartbeat is, you know, going very rapidly. But if you take the efficacious amount, and this can be anywhere from 3 to 6 milligrams per kilogram body weight. So, for a guy like me, about 215 mg about 30 minutes before exercise, it is gonna have a huge performance-enhancing benefit, and I promise you, it is not gonna make your heart explode.

So, that's my rant for today. Caffeine, again, it's not gonna dehydrate you, it's not gonna cause your heart to explode. If anything, it's gonna have an awesome effect on your endurance performance. Now, PerformElite has about 215 mg of caffeine per serving, so the ideal amount for endurance athletes. So that's about it for now. If you like this video and you want more content on everything endurance related, from nutrition to training to supplementation, I highly encourage you to check out the EndurElite website,, E-N-D-U-R-E-L-I-T-E. All right, my endurance friends, until next time, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast.