Sunday, July 16, 2006

How much caffeine?

It was refreshing to just focus on doing my techniques instead of fighting with my painful cramping leg muscles. Good! Now I know that, for my body, I will need to bring down the level of caffeine in my diet to as close to nothing as possible.

According to research, children can handle up to 45 mg of caffeine without an effect on their system. ( This is the equivelant of 1 cup of cola, or a chocolate bar.) I'm going to attempt to keep the caffeine in my diet to below 10 mg per day. This might be quite easy because there are many caffeine free alternatives available.

Just to compare:

A cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee has 4 mg.

A cup of hot cocoa has 4 mg. A chocolate bar has up to 30 mg.. it depends on the type of bar, and how many other things are added to it.

Chocolate milk has 8 mgs. Cola has about 40 mg.

Knowledge allows me to make choices that will support my health. I have found out this week that I prefer to drink Peppermint tea (which contains 0 mg) over coffee anyway.

One of the most surprising things that I have learned is that certain soda pop that I would THINK would have no caffeine has up to 44-55 mg in it.. for example, Mountain Dew, Sunkist Orange, A&W Creme Soda. What an eye-opener for me! I never thought that I'd find caffeine in those drinks!

To link this with karate, I believe that lowering the amount of caffeine in my diet will support my efforts as a student. My body will be less "stressed" out because it will be working at normal speed instead of hyper turbo-powered caffeine speed. Also, I will not have the need to go to the washroom as often during class so I'll be able to train more, getting the most of my time in the dojo. :-)


John Vesia said...

I'm a big coffee drinker. It's my only vice. While I think most things in moderation are OK, caffeine does have its drawbacks. Alot of research has been done on other "mild" stimulants: ginseng, ephedrine (now illegal in the US), St. John's Wort (not really a stimulant, but has similar properties).

supergroup7 said...

I haven't really tried any of the other mild stimulants. I've heard about them.

I like peppermint tea now.. One of my favorite drinks. I'm surprised how much I like it.

I've also read that normal tea is supposed to have anti-oxidants in it that help you fight cancer. I wonder if coffee might have those?

But I know that I shouldn't drink the caffeine if I do not want my legs to cramp up as frequently.

[Mat] said...

Coffee does have those anti-oxidants.

Careful with tea, it often has more cafeine than coffee! Although peppermint doesn't have caffeine.

I'm currently trying to stop coffee. It's really hard. Feeling cranky all the time. Ugh.

Can't believe ephedrine is legal. I had a friend take that in his training and the results were scary. In his quest for the hardest body possible, he took a somewhat good quantity and ended up hyperventilating all the time. "quit it!" I said. "No, it's good for my training"...

Go figure.

lizzie said...

Your Sensei allows you to go to the bathroom during class? My Sensei will never allow his students to do that.

supergroup7 said...

"I'm currently trying to stop coffee. It's really hard. Feeling cranky all the time. Ugh."

YES!!!! You won't regret it... Honestly. I found that I feel far more energetic, and able without the caffeine buzz. The caffeine makes you perky.. but it's a tired perky. I remember that horrible feeling of detoxification, and withdrawal. It will only last a few days.. Oh.. you are probably past that point now by the time I write this.

Try boosting yourself with bananas, and orange/carrot juice mixtures to help with the healing.

Be gentle with yourself...

supergroup7 said...

Lizzie, each Sensei has different expectations, and rules. Sometimes the rules can be different for the higher belts as compared to the lower belts, or for the adults as compared to the children.

For example, in one of my dojo, the children couldn't go to the washroom at all, but the adults were allowed to by their own choice. All the adults needed to do was bow out, leave, then bow in. Most of the time, the adults didn't take advantage of this priviledge. It was really rare.. This priviledge was a way for Sensei to show adults the respect of their age, and maturity.

Sometimes it depends on how long your classes are: for example.. if you just have a one hour class (or so) there should be no need to go to the washroom for anyone there... but I have trained in classes that are 3 -5 1/2 hours long. Many of my fellow students would rush out of the room to go throw up in the washroom. Throwing up from hard training is a very frequent happening in those cases. I believe Sensei allows us the right to do this because he didn't want to see vomit all over the dojo floor.

lizzie said...

Sensei has let me go to the bathroom when I had a bloody nose.