Question about caffeine products sold on this site
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Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 01:03:40 MST Print View

Ive noticed there area variety of caffeine food supplements that are sold on this site. And at outdoor stores wherever I shope. These various caffeine products are expensive and "high fallutin" IMO. I have a better, much, much cheaper alternative. OTC caffeine pills AKA "No Doze" and a few others.

Long used by college students to get them thru those overnighters and by military personnel who need to stay awake and perform without sleep. Cheap, simple, reliable...as KISS as you can get.

Ive used caffeine pills before and they work...good. So before you get suckered into spending a bunch of cash for some designer, gucci caffeine product, just go buy some "No Doze" at your local grocery store.

Vlad

D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 02:25:34 MST Print View

It's not always about cost. Sometimes it's about the experience or enjoyment. I personally enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning or a Clif Bar in the afternoon. It's more pleasing to me than swallowing a pill. If you chew gum why not have a little caffinee in it. It can also be about already having caffine in items you already take thus not having the extra weight of the pills and container. You have to remember that quite a few people here try to save every gram (I'm not one of them I only count ounces).

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 11:18:23 MST Print View

Oh yeah, Im not against drinking coffee or tea. Im a caffeine junkie myself. I guess my point is, why spend a lot of money for some fancy smancy gucci caffeine food product when you can just drink coffee and if you are on the trail and maybe need a burst of energy, just pop an OTC pill...legal speed AKA a caffeine pill. I dont know if you have tried caffeine pills or not, but they are different than just coffee. They are very potent. Feel like mild speed.

Its a lot cheaper and caffeine pills are probably lighter than caffeine chewing gum.

Vlad

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 11:33:22 MST Print View

I tried the caffeine pills in school and it upset my stomach every time I took it. So I avoid those thingies.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 11:49:48 MST Print View

No stranger here to "stay awakes".

No Doze + pseudoephedrine (stimulates the sympathetic nervous system in a fashion similar to adrenaline/epinephrine, but longer onset, lower intensity, and longer acting) taken with Gu and/or a Clif bar gives me energy when i'm run ragged.

Be warned: these drugs are not without side-effects, particularly if taken in ill-advised higher doses. Even young atheletes (a young boxer, maybe 10-15yrs ago, comes to mind) have died from taking larger doses.

Check w/your PCP b/f deciding to use these drugs, particularly in conjunction with each other. All of the effects that they have on your body may not be considered a positive, e.g. potential for elevated BP.

Edited by pj on 11/20/2006 11:56:36 MST.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 13:00:06 MST Print View

Id never take caffeine pills in combo with
pseudoephedrine...thats a ticket to a heart attack. Although a lot of bodybuilders do that, they call it an "ECA stack." ECA stands for "Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin." Bodybuilders are NOT my models of ideal people!

I dont take the Effedra or whatever that herbal was called. Didnt the FDA take that off the market?

Just plain old caffeine pills can work wonders when you are run down, tired...maybe on a real rainy day perhaps. Low side effects...basically like drinking a couple cups of strong coffee. Safe.

I have combined caffeine pills with Motrin in the past and that is a good combo IMO.

Vlad

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 13:57:07 MST Print View

Pseudoephedrine: I'm generally using it to be able to breathe easily since it's a nasal decongestant, so it's often in my system when hiking.

Effedra is the plant from which Effedra leaf tea is made. It contains Ephedrine in a natural form - compared to pseudoephedrine (found in some cold medications, i.e. nasal decongestants, and some diet pills) it has a faster onset (~20min after ingesting), little higher effect/intensity, but around a 40-45 minute duration of effect. Too short of an effect to be used in OTC (no longer off-the-shelf in many [all???] cases) cold medicines, or in some appetite supressing diet pills. Hence, the synthesis of pseudoephedrine in laboratories for medicinal (and diet) purposes. I'm forgetting, but i think it typically peaks around 90min or so after ingesting and has a longer half-life than natural ephedrine, hence longer acting in the body (don't quote me on that 90min figure; i'm really having trouble recalling some things that i used to know "cold" - no pun intended).

I don't think that the FDA took it off the market, they did take if "off the shelves" and behind the Pharmacist's counter though (meth labs supposedly can use large quantites of these pills to make methamphetamines/speed). You now need to sign a registry when purchasing these pills and the day-by-day quantity that you can purchase (at least at any one pharmacy) is limited.

I've used pseudoephedrine (Sudafed and generic brands) for decades, or i generally can't breathe out of one or both nostrils unless i'm working out real hard, then the nostrils clear without the drug.

I would not advise taking mega-doses though in an attempt to improve atheletic performance. This is particularly when things can go wrong with an otherwise healthy athelete - e.g. cerebral bleed, amongst other possible side-effects.

Like i said in my prev. post (see there), it acts on the body in a very natural way - similar to how adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone) acts.

It stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, causing (amongst other effects)...

constriction of capillaries (to reduce bleeding if wounded while fighting or fleeing; this can cause an elevated BP and slight lowering of skin temp; for some medical procedures, a doctor or surgeon may inject epinephrine around the site of an intended incision to reduce bleeding just before the incision is made).

reduction of blood flow to some organs, e.g. the stomach (what animal fighting or fleeing stops to eat) and the gonads (what animal fighting or fleeing for its life stops to reproduce) - this is why it was used in some appetite suppressant diet pills.

in high doses, and in rare instances at normal doses, may cause some "leaking" of urine when sneezing or coughing or after urination (ever hear of someone so scared that they have an accident? adrenaline to blame?)

slight improvement in muscular strength and a reduction in reaction time.

there are other effects also.

It's a banned substance by the IOC (int'l olympic committee). I think it was in '72 or '76 that a US distance swimmer had his Olympic gold medal yanked after he tested positive for this drug which he often used for nasal congestion - it was only recently banned at the time and his coach gave it to him.

In normal doses it has been used for decades by millions of people with little problem. Abuse is another matter, like that very talented 18yr old boxer, whose name escapes me at the moment, who developed a cerebral bleed and died right in front of his father (his coach) and younger brother while doing a heavy bag workout after taking something like 16x, IIRC, the normal dose.

Again, i'm not advocating anyone use pseudoephedrine (w/or w/o caffeine) - only that it works for me in low doses only - haven't tried megadoses so can't comment; anyone should check with your PCP before using it for any purpose, especially if a person is on certain other medications, e.g. sympathomimetic amines amongst others. There are at least a couple of medical doctors who participate in these Forums. Maybe they could comment.

Edited by pj on 11/20/2006 14:27:15 MST.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 16:40:23 MST Print View

Pseudoephedrine: I'm generally using it to be able to breathe easily since it's a nasal decongestant, so it's often in my system when hiking.
-------------------------------------------

Yeah, using it for medical purposes is perfectly fine. Its the main active ingredient in most OTC sinus medications. Its also in Nyquil, some versions of Robitussin, etc. For congestion its a very useful drug.

For performance enhancement however, its a no no. BTW, I was watching some TV documentary recently on Iraq and it said that some of those Iraqi insurgents have injecting adrenaline (ephedrine like substance) to pump themselves up and fight harder.

Pretty crazy...

Vlad

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 18:30:12 MST Print View

Can I honestly ask why some of you swear by caffiene highs and the products when hiking?
while in the past I was a barista for 8+ years, and I enjoy coffee and tea, I have never seen the need to take supplements. If I am tired, I take a break, eat someting, drink some water and take 10 minutes, then get going again. Jittery isn't my idea of fun ;-)

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
It's about the coffee! on 11/20/2006 18:59:34 MST Print View

For me, one of the "civilized pleasures" of backpacking is my morning cup of coffee. I don't really think about the caffine. When I pop out of a tent in the wilderness, I get a natural spark of energy just from the emotion of the setting!

Now if I could get that excited about getting out of bed and going to work! The very first thing I do in morning is plug in the coffee-maker.

I drink my coffee black and whether at home or on the trail, I really enjoy the morning ritual. I guess I don't qualify as a caffine junky because after my morning mug, I'm good for the day.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Caffiene on 11/20/2006 21:11:30 MST Print View

One of the best parts of a long-distance hike for me is NOT needing any caffiene. When I hit trails for 1-6 weeks, I make it a point to try to avoid any thing with substantial caffiene in it. I come off the trail lighter, more alert, and happier because I've broken the cycle of caffiene up, grind down, and repeat.

I suspect that adventure racing (which I used to do right after I got our of the Marine Corps) is a factor in caffience laced supplements. While few folks will ever race a Raid Gaulloise or EcoChallenge length race, 8 through 48-hour races are pretty common. In this sort of environment, staying reasonably alert after being up and moving for 30 hours is major plus.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Caffiene on 11/20/2006 22:04:05 MST Print View

I had a feeling it had to do with long hauls and adventure racing. For me, 19 miles is tops, and then off to bed and a hot meal ;-)
But hoo, there isn't anything like sunrise in summer to get me going! It is the ultimate high!

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/20/2006 22:12:09 MST Print View

Can I honestly ask why some of you swear by caffiene highs and the products when hiking?
while in the past I was a barista for 8+ years, and I enjoy coffee and tea, I have never seen the need to take supplements. If I am tired, I take a break, eat someting, drink some water and take 10 minutes, then get going again. Jittery isn't my idea of fun ;-)
---------------------------------------------

Cause some of us are psychos who enjoy pushing it hard on the trail and abusing our bodies <grin>. Caffeine pills arent speed, but its the closest legal thing to that.

To be honest, I cant even get out of bed without some caffeine :). I'm not a "morning person."

Vlad

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/21/2006 00:44:27 MST Print View

"stay awakes", as they were affectionately known, were often welcome after being awake for 24 or 30 hrs. When in the military, sleeping when you want isn't always an option. i'm sure this isn't necessarily a good thing for one's body though.

in fact, excessive use can lead to some pretty severe headaches (prob. b/c of changes in BP b/t when on, and then off of them). these headaches are just what a person notices. wonder what else is taking place in one's body?

BTW, Sarah did you notice that it might be a guy thing? Oh...the burden of testosterone...

in my case, the rare use of the "combo" is an exercise in simplicity. for me, popping the combo (which much more often than not does NOT occur when on a trek) is much simpler than making coffee and drinking it. i'm no fan of coffee as i don't like the taste, preferring instead, when at home or work, one (or two - if i'm really tired for some unavoidable reason) cups of O-Cha (japanese green tea) or Gen Mai Cha (toasted brown rice with tea, or green tea in my case). At my age though, i should perhaps rethink the "combo" (even though i don't exceed recommended doses of either).

Edited by pj on 11/21/2006 00:52:35 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: It's about the coffee! on 11/21/2006 02:12:36 MST Print View

> For me, one of the "civilized pleasures" of backpacking is my morning cup of coffee.

With you Michael!
My wife and I find a nice place with a good view around 10 am and it's tea and coffee time! Civilisation as we know it...

D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/21/2006 03:02:59 MST Print View

Any bets on when these guys will have a heart attack?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/21/2006 03:22:05 MST Print View

perhaps not a MI; i'm more concerned about a potential brain aneurysm. Of course, the "four-cuppers" out there might have their own set of concerns.

Edited by pj on 11/21/2006 03:25:08 MST.

James Schipper
(monospot) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/21/2006 09:20:14 MST Print View

Most aneurysms are congenital. While hypertension contributes to expantion and rupture, its doubtful caffiene would have much of an effect. Caffiene intake has never been associated with MI, though it can contribute to palpiations and some supraventricular arrythmias. The headaches associated with caffiene are usually due to caffiene withdrawal and a rebound vasodilitation rather than hypertension.

Caffiene really is a very safe drug, primarily evidenced by the millions of people who use it without significant health problems.

Just my two cents

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/21/2006 09:28:33 MST Print View

Well, I wouldn't call caffiene "safe". With most anything, small doses are fine, but hammering the energy drinks and suplements is not a safe bet.
Myself, hitting my 30's took away most caffiene out of my diet. I still have a latte every once in awhile, and I drink black teas when dining out, but beyond that I consume little to no caffiene. I cannot anymore, it does funky things to my BP. Blech is all I can say! For me, it is a family issue, and caffiene comes to haunt us as we get older.
But, on the other hand, I can live without it when backpacking ;-) Which is nice! I just sip my herbal tea while the sun rises..lol!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about caffeine products sold on this site on 11/21/2006 10:07:24 MST Print View

good info. good post.

just to be clearer, the intent of my comment was related to pe (and its vasoconstrictive effect), not caff.


>>"rebound dilation"

was on vasodilators for three days once - severe headaches, just like some very uncomfortable caffeine withdrawal headaches which i experienced also only once - like the old Scotsman says, "it's better felt than telt".



>>"hypertension"

pseudoephedrine might cause this. my normal seated (on the exam table) BP is 100 over 60. if i'm on a normal dose of pe it rises to 110 over 70 or rarely 120 over 80. could it be attributed to other factors? don't know. but over three decades of use and noticing the consistent effect if my PCP or my wife takes my BP before use and some time after leads me to the anecdotal belief that it is the pe that raises my BP.


based upon your post, guess that young boxer had a congenital aneurysm. he found out too late when he abused pe; the article attributed the death to the rupture brought on by the combo of pe and the anaerobic aspects to his very strenuous workout. so, my question is, w/o a scan of the brain, how does an otherwise healthy person know ahead of time that this might occur?

wasn't there a pro baseball player and/or a pro football player who died from abusing pe in the last few years?

Edited by pj on 11/21/2006 11:26:06 MST.