View Full Version : Coffee Before Class

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11-30-2004, 12:56 PM
I began studying Aikido almost a year ago. I can remember that I used to have alot more energy at my disposal during class, than I do now. It is definetely not a loss of interest thing of any kind. I drink coffee, but dont have one before class, cause I dont want my mind to be racing!

What does everyone think about coffee before class?

11-30-2004, 01:01 PM
Have you made any drastic dietary changes and/or lifestyle changes over the past year?


Rocky Izumi
11-30-2004, 04:28 PM
Coffee before class. Ah. Mix that with roll-till-you-puke exercise and you have an interesting combination! Seems the coffee makes a lot of people more aware of the vertigo created by rolling.


11-30-2004, 04:35 PM
coffee good !!!!!!!! would juan valdez steer you wrong i think not.

11-30-2004, 05:32 PM

Over the past year i have not made any lifestyle/dietary changes other than eating alot healthier, quiting smoking, and working out alot more (running/lifting). But for the most part i had already started these routines before i started studying.


11-30-2004, 06:53 PM
I do drink alot of coffee on normal days, but I do not drink coffee before a class. On days that I have had a coffee within 3 hours before a class, I find that my stomach acts up during ukemi ( seldom ), but I am definitely more lethargic during class and more tired after class.

My personal opinion is I think its because coffee generally dehydrates the body and the inability to retain enough water could be detrimental during exercise in general.

That being the case, I generally stay away from coffee before exercise, at least 3hrs or more.

11-30-2004, 11:03 PM
Genki drinks...much better than coffee. I have no idea if they sell anything like them outside of Japan, but Regain and Royal Jelly drinks and the various Vitamin Supplement Energy drinks will certainly perk you up for a class. And they come in these really tiny bottles, so probably you won't be tempted to throw them up during ukemi.

Not that I know first hand, you understand. I've only heard. I don't depend on them of course. I can quit anytime. :D

Actually, I do know a hombu dojo instructor who made sure they had some on hand before conducting a seminar because I was sent to buy them. Imagine that. :)


Charles Hill
12-01-2004, 01:48 AM
Genki drinks...much better than coffee.

That`s because most of them have at least as much caffeine in them as a cup of coffee!

By the way, I heard somewhere that Ikeda Hiroshi Sensei drinks a huge amount of coffee. Before and after class.

Charles Hill

12-01-2004, 02:06 AM
It has been proven that caffeine, like nicotine, can temporarily boost performance. What the time differential for optimal intake and expenditure is I do not know. I know sometimes I drink a cup of coffee about an hour before class and never have problems with ukemi or needing to vomit, an we train pretty intensely.
When I was in the states, I would never drink energy drinks before class (red bull etc.) but I might have one after class. Taurine is the ingredient in most energy drinks that gives a speedy effect, more so then the caffeine as most people are used to caffeine and have a tolerance.
I think alot of this can depend on how fast your body processes the substances.. Take in to account that caffeine does dehyrdate the body as it processed. As for taurine, I do not know if it is processed in the same manner as caffeine as it is an amino acid...

As for the genki drinks in japan, I have had them before and after classes here and never noticed a difference. (The gel ones are really disgusting!!) I think once it gets colder I might drink more before class.

Remember, you can always get decaff ;)


12-01-2004, 02:32 AM
I've never drunk coffee before a class, but whenever I am in Japan and go to asaren (morning keiko), I often pop into Lawson and grab a genki drink. This is because I usually get up around 5:45 and dash straight out to keiko without time for breakfast. I do find that a genki drink seems to benefit me, wakes me up a bit and gives me an energy boost, whether that is psychological or genuine I have no idea, but who cares, it works :).



12-01-2004, 02:50 AM
That`s because most of them have at least as much caffeine in them as a cup of coffee!
Well, yeah...not to mention nicotine and Vitamin B-12 and other stuff that I am sure is banned by the Olympic committee as well <g>

What I want to know is whatever happened to those "morning after the night before" drinks that were around up until a couple of years ago. Not that I miss them. Or used them. Really. I was just told by a friend that they worked :D



12-01-2004, 07:03 AM
To digress....

I had a 2 day old constantly simmered chilli before class last night - absolutely delicious, but not to be recommended before anything other than sitting quietly and probably on your own too.....


12-01-2004, 07:47 AM
Coffee or espresso will sometimes give me a touch of heartburn if I have it too close to class, so I will usually have tea in the afternoon, black or green. Also a good way to get the anti-oxidants... .

Michael Young
12-01-2004, 08:26 PM
mmmmm...coffee, precious coffee. Before most classes I catch a cup or two at my favorite place that is on the way to the dojo. For me, its just because I love the taste of coffee, not for a performance boost. Even if I don't have a cup though, I really don't notice a difference in my energy level..but that's just me, everybody's body chemistry is different. You just have to figure out what is right or wrong for you.
As far as health benefits go, excess is always not recommended by everything I've read. There are plenty of studies that show coffee is high in anti-oxidants as well, and if filtered has health benefits. Unfiltered coffe drinks, like espresso and the like, contain saturated fats that aren't heart healthy...but they're mmmmsooo good...I advocate coffee for the body and soul :D .


12-01-2004, 09:37 PM
Dear Chris

How often are you training. Your tiredness may be due to glucagon depletion ("over training") especially if you are doing a lot of running and weight lifting as well.

The easy solution is to eat more.

12-01-2004, 10:02 PM
I train at 8:00 AM, so yes, its coffee before and after class, thank you.

kung fu hamster
12-02-2004, 10:51 AM
If you started a year ago then I think it's natural that you feel more tired in class now than you did then. When you started you were doing beginning tai sabaki and just learning where to put your feet, how to take a fall, all fairly slowly I assume. Now I suppose you are at the point where you are rolling around and taking some hard falls, working quickly and changing partners/techniques at a pace that would have made your head spin when you first started. Don't know if coffee would help, I would say try not to ingest too much sugary stuff before class so you won't experience a sugar dump of energy. My teacher claims it kind of perks him up to have coffee, but from personal experience I know I must avoid it.

Jerry Miller
12-02-2004, 12:05 PM
I work late and therefore attend late morning classes. I drink three cups with cream to get started for the day. So I must partake before stumbling into the dojo. :D

12-02-2004, 05:42 PM
All very good suggestions. Thanks alot everyone!


12-02-2004, 08:26 PM
Coffee is very acidic, rolling around with it in your belly can't be too easy for the stomach to handle. Personally I find it revolting, just the smell of it makes me want to toss my cookies.

"Energy Drinks" like redbull and such ...contain other stimulants such as Taurine, but like Taurine, they a just another form of caffiene. Combine that with a boat load of sugar, which they do, and you'll be buzzing. Drink 2 Mountain Dews for the same effect and calories, you'll just have to pee more.

Most suppliments/workout sources I've read recomend you take your stimulants 30 minutes prior to your workout to maximize effect and minimize side-effects. It works for me so far.

just my $.02

Holly Nesbeitt
12-02-2004, 10:30 PM
coffee generally dehydrates the body and the inability to retain enough water could be detrimental during exercise in general

Coffee is a diuretic, but for some reason the diuretic effects are suspended during exercise. Scientific studies and personal experience bear this out. It's still probably not as good as just having water before class, but it won't dehydrate you (as badly?) if you're exercising.

12-02-2004, 10:47 PM
I don't know about suspended. I've had to give up my second after lunch coffee is I am to train in the afternoon.

Chad Scott
12-03-2004, 09:11 PM
I used to drink a can of coffee 30 minutes before practice, and it seemed to help me perform better. But then I went to a practice that was more intense than usual, and it made me nauseous.

Since then, I don't do coffee before practice; instead, I just dig down deep and give my all. It gives me more confidence knowing I am doing it myself instead of relying on caffeine and sugar.