Unicycling and coffee

I have been getting up like 5:30am :astonished: , packing up and going for about a mile or so ride before work on weekday mornings. Anyway, I have my coffee, pack up my stuff for my ride and for work and off I go, but sometimes, not every time, when I start riding I get really weak :angry: and it feels like I’m overloaded from the coffee fix, that I had beforehand. I overcome it and move on, but I just wondered why I’m feeling this way even if it is for a short time. Should I not be drinking my morning addiction before doing my other morning addiction, :o has anyone else experienced something similar. What should I be doing or not doing? :thinking: Any suggestions on what or how I should start my morning before riding if it should be different?

Strange… Do you experience the overloading only with respect to unicycling? If it is a general effect, just cut down on the coffee. If specific, I don’t know. I have it the other way around. I participate in unicycle races sometimes, and I drink cafeine before a race to feel more focused and alert.

Sometimes I feel like that if I have coffee before a ride, and no food. You might want to have a little bite to eat, go for your ride, and then have the coffee to celebrate yet another great morning ride before work!

I don’t know if this is the same thing, but I had to give up drinking a lot of Mountain Dew and Coke. I was drinking up to 6 cans every day. While riding, I would feel very fatigued. I had trouble climbing up hills steep or not. I looked online about fatigue (it was a recent thing) and the only thing that fit was too much caffeine. I did an experiment where I cut down to one (sometimes two) sodas/day. Within one week, I was able to ride up hills and not feel so fatigued. I still get winded or tired, but it isn’t that sluggish feeling like when I was drinking so much soda. I’ve never had coffee so I can’t comment there. I did try an energy drink once and that was a disaster.

i dont drink coffee, but one time i drank a big red bull( which probably has more caffeine than coffee) before unicycling and ended up extremely tired in a short time. my balance was also wack(i blame the abnormal level of caffeine in me), i wasn’t doing good on skinnies that day.

i stick with my fav

dihydrogen monoxide

caffeine is nothing less than a drug.

This is generally why i hate having diabetes, i have to have the sugar, and i absolutely hate the stupid little tablets im meant to have, so i can have coke instead. But this gives me the initial high sugar then makes me sluggish and i cant ride for a while :o

Dang its all already been said, less caffiene and a bite to eat. I like my coffee strong so I brew it half/caf and half/decaf.

And what Jtrops said, at least a small amount of food to keep your blood sugar up. Remember you are coming off of a mini-fast called sleeping.

What if you had juice or Gatorade instead? Would that react the same way?

It’s actually cappuccino so it’s a bit heavier so maybe with the sugar therre is a difference. I’m alert, haha.

I experience mostly riding, but the only other things I do is go hiking or exercising and I exercise at night so I don’t have a comparison. I don’t eat just drink the cappuccino so maybe like you said I should cut down beforehand and have it afterward.

I get fatigued and feel like I’m carrying a heavy weight for a few minutes and I think it is the caffeine, I don’t drink soda but I guess they both would most likely have the same affect. I think it is the cappuccino as it tends to be pretty sweet.

Food and cutting back, that’s probably the answer but I don’t want to gain weight so I tend to eat light at most all times. Maybe an egg white.

Cool, thanks for your help. I will try to cut back to start, :wink: I know I can’t wait till I’m done riding at least not immediately maybe after I cut back.

Seriously I don’t know about anyone else but our bike trails in the morning are packed like 5:00 traffic the last few days. It’s funny, I’m the only unicyclist, of course this morning I got the “where’s your other wheel” as a rider rode past, but yesterday I was getting the thumbs up. It’s fun and mostly invigorating before going to work.

Haven’t you heard that’s a poison?:wink:

Diagnosing over the internet in inherently problematic but my hunch is that the caffeine is not causing this temporary fatigue. I’m more prone to point my finger at a blood sugar issue. Blood sugar and cortisol interact very strongly. How much sugar is in that coffee? How was your sleep the night before? Do you have a history of blood sugar dysregulation? (hypoglycemia or diabetes?) What happens when you eat real food and wait a little bit? Have you had long-term stress? These are questions that scratch the surface of the variables that may be involved.
Try a little food, not sugar, when you get up. That way, you’ll avoid a big blood sugar spike and a possible subsequent crash. I’m no fan of coffee. I find that it messes with my fine motor skills. But honestly, the caffeine is probably what is kicking in and stimulating you enough to recover from that energy crash.
In the long term, concentrate on getting enough sleep every night, eat a high protein diet to balance your blood sugars and go easy on the caffeine.


I am a big coffee drinker and often ride in the morning. My advice is to make sure you have some water too, especially if you are going to ride. Keep hydrated.

Geoff lets see, I tend to agree with the blood sugar thing…to answer your questions…How much sugar is in that coffee? LOTS it’s a cheap cappuccino mix not the real thing. How was your sleep the night before? Depends, but usually pretty good since my day consists of getting up early, riding, work, ride more, then exercise and go to sleep. Do you have a history of blood sugar dysregulation? Nope, nothing like that. (hypoglycemia or diabetes?) What happens when you eat real food and wait a little bit? Real Food? Wait? Whatch u talkin bout? Have you had long-term stress? Nope I don’t believe so.

I eat good food, but I don’t eat large quantities or often so between not eating a lot and the “sugar” fix in the morning I do tend to agree that it might be the sugar thing and I need to stop drinking that mix but it’s not easy to give it up either. I will have to think about stopping and maybe switching to straight black coffee like deadbeatpope and others have said, if it keeps happening. I think either tomorrow morning or Saturday I will try water (and maybe an egg white) before riding and then have my cappuccino afterward. Thanks.

Are you on a weight loss program? If you exercise as much as you are describing and not eating much you must be losing several pounds a week.

Powered by expresso!

I and some others I know find an expresso at every mile or sooner seems to help! I’ve been know to ride with one in each hand when the expresso shops are far apart.

No I just kind of watch what I eat, eat healthy for the most part, sort of eat to live, not live to eat. There are times I eat a lot and frequent, and sometimes junk food. I treat myself to comfort food, just only not daily. I’m usually too busy to bother usually. I don’t really loose any weight, I think my body is used to my activity all day long I am in an office and when I’m out I tend to busy myself. It might be ADHD haha.

I like that idea, haha, very cool. You live in a pretty good state for espresso!

The locals claim Bellngham has more expresso places per capita than Seattle. Some time try a expresso mocha shake (chocolate milkshake with shots of expresso) for a great way to carb load during a ride. Warning: very addictive.

I guess sugar is a carb and fat is a good source of energy too… This drink is definitely not for someone who watches their calory intakeNand tries to eat healthy. Alas, my mocha and chocolate raisins days are over and americanos work better for staying alert anyway :slight_smile:

I don’t think cardio before breakfast is a good idea in general. In my case it messes up my appetite and I overeat afterwards.

I usually have coffee in the morning as well, and I bike or unicycle to work every day with no issues - but then again I don’t usually have coffee on an empty stomach and then go ride. Now that i live in the city my ride is only 3 miles or so, but when I was out 8 miles away from my job, I HAD to have something to eat before riding or I felt as you described after a bit.

If you aren’t a breakfast person, at least have a banana and a glass of water before heading out, this is how I slowly got myself into the habit of eating in the morning.

Haha, I like the frozen espresso drinks but the mocha shake sounds amazing. My son is a professional barista in NYC so I have had a good deal of coffee experience and shops in NYC are popping up all over finally many from the West coast :). Although I live in Upstate NY where we just basically have the same old shops unfortunately nothing to go riding for.

I don’t always have the issue I find it more when I have several cappuccinos before going. Some mornings just require more, :astonished: but I think you are right a banana and water would work. I also think if I actually switched to coffee I wouldn’t find this happening, I think it is the sugar content of what I am drinking, it’s just a very sweet mix. When I ride in the morning I always eat a good lunch, like a turkey wrap, fruit, water, etc because of working up an appetite.