Coaching: Bad coffee stop habits sabotaging your training?

Posted on: July 18th, 2017

Are bad coffee stop habits sabotaging your training rides?

Coffee stops are a rite of passage amongst cyclists and there’s nothing we love more than a freshly-brewed mug (or three!) at the end of a hard ride. However, caution should be exercised not to overdo your intake.


Bad coffee stop habits sabotaging your training rides?


A top Irish dietitian has warned about the dangers of excessive caffeine in the diet, with cyclists among the people who often exceed what is deemed a safe limit.

Ruth Reidy, owner of Nutrition4U in Cork, said anyone who exceeds four cups of brewed coffee daily is in danger of developing insomnia, restlessness, an upset stomach, a faster than normal heartbeat as well as muscle tremors.

‘Coffee spins’ are a rite of passage among most cyclists, or at least the ones we speak with here on our ‘off-season diaries’ pieces anyway, but Reidy makes a solid argument to tread carefully.

“Coffee varies in caffeine content depending on how it’s brewed,” she said.

“The average 225ml mug of coffee (Americano) contains about 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine.

“Up to 400 mg of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.

“That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee.

“A max of 200mg caffeine is recommended during pregnancy,” she added.

Although caffeine use may be safe for adults, Reidy makes the point it’s not a good idea for children.

“Adolescents (18-25) should limit themselves to no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day.

“And even among adults, heavy caffeine use can cause unpleasant side effects.”

High caffeine intakes (500-600 mg daily) can be associated with the development of cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and sudden deaths have been reported.

“A person may not be aware they have an underlying heart condition and consequently, the high caffeine intake may put them at risk for serious adverse health consequences.”


Caffeine content per 225ml

  • Brewed coffee – 180 mg
  • Espresso – 75 mg
  • Instant -150 mg
  • Latté – 75 mg
  • Americano – 80-100 mg
  • Mocha -90 mg
  • Flat white – 120 mg