Thursday, April 29, 2010


It is a beautiful day, but very windy - I got spooked right away by how much lateral momement the wind was inducing, and had a mildly harrowing ride over to the park, but it was nice once I was there.

Inadvertent experiment of one - after reading about the possibility that caffeine alleviates exercise-induced asthma, I figured it might be time to start drinking coffee again. It happened that I was at a breakfast meeting this morning with coffee and pastries (this is very unusual in academia, we live a frugal life!), so I had 2 cups of coffee. And I accidentally forgot to take my puffs of albuterol before leaving for my bike ride - I need to put aside an inhaler just for exercise purposes, and always have it with me, but I still often forget and didn't realize until I was already halfway to the park.

So caffeine + no albuterol turns out to produce LESS wheezing than albuterol alone - I would say it was pretty noticeable - it's true that my bike fitness has been improving also, but I really had no wheezing at all (just a little tightness of chest) going up Harlem Hill. I think the reintroduction of regular caffeination will be wholly justified; I don't think it has a significant negative impact on sleep, so long as it is taken in moderation/only in the first part of the day.

4 park loops

26 miles total


Unknown said...

I *knew* coffee was essential! ;-)

I have inhalers distributed in each going out bag. One in my swim bag, one in my coaching bag, one in my make-up case (which moves from purse to purse). Multiple inhalers was the only way for me to deal with the forgetfulness issue.

Danielle in Iowa in Ireland said...

How fascinating! In terms of drugs, I think daily caffeine can't be as bad for you as daily albuterol (at least one of those is plant based and natural!)

Lynn said...

SCIENCE WINS! Wikipedia + my physiology book offer the following explanation: caffeine is a competitive nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitor thatraises intracellular cAMP by blocking its removal from cells. When cells have higher levels of cAMP, they have increased binding affinity for epinephrine. And epi dilates airways, thus reducing any kind of wheezing (ERs automatically shoot you up with epi for most breathing problems). :)