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Working out on stimulants is one of the easiest ways to overstress your heart and can cause permanent cardiovascular damage. Happened to a friend of mine, his CK levels were through the roof, he ripped his heart muscle because he used adderall before workouts.

For a hacker news post, I'm sorely disappointed. The body will secret epinephrine once you start working up a sweat, there's no need to add caffeine and shitty simple sugars to your body before a workout. Eat a brown rice granola bar or bring some Gatorade with you if you really need the sugar boost to get going. Usually, glycogen stored in the liver from previous days will suffice to rocket the body's bloodstream with sugar.




For an xkcd fanboy, you sure aren't putting any science or facts behind your claims. Randall would be ashamed.

Adderall is an amphetamine, lasts about 10 hours and is basically a controlled substance, banned by major competitive sports organizations as a performance enhancer. Caffeine lasts about five hours and (as far as I know) isn't banned anywhere. There's more sciencey ways to compare them but i'm lazy. Check the wikipedia pages.

There is also little to no risk of cardiovascular disorder from using caffeine in "normal" doses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine#cite_note-Dam08-18). The thing that actually strikes me as interesting about the Red Bull thing is its ingredients and perceived benefits. Here's a brief description of the ingredients: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/15-07/st_r...

Apparently not only can the caffeine make you more likely to be dehydrated, it takes between 45 mins and 1 hr to absorb fully into your blood stream. So really, if you want to try to use caffeine (or a caffeine-like substance like Guarana) make sure you take it about an hour before your workout for peak results. And i'll remind you all that continuous use of caffeine can make you dependent and dull the supposed benefits over time. And also, stay hydrated 24 hours before you work out; chugging a bottle of gatoraid while you run is not being hydrated.

(All that being said, I think it's a lame cheat to use a stimulant or performance enhancer when working out. Unless you're trying to win a marathon (which is still cheating) you don't need any "extra edge" provided by $2.50 sugar water. Do the reps and get sleep and eat good food and you'll benefit the most)


The "sugar water" is better than normal water because it's isotonic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotonicity#Isotonic


You don't need anything other than plain water for normal exercising (anything under 2 hours will generally count here). --Sports drinks will simply add calories and are not going to enhance your performance.

If you're going to be working out all day or doing something like a marathon, then you need to consider something to help replace the salts you lose when sweating.


Come on now - while caffeine hasn't yet shown to be an ergogenic aid to anerobic activity (unlike endurance efforts, where it is very beneficial), a single tin of Red Bull isn't going to make your heart go boom, especially if you are habituated to that amount of caffeine.



Just to be clear, caffeine is commonly used as a legal performance enhancer for athletes. The cross-fitter who doesn't consume a cup of coffee (or three) is few and far between.


Odd...over half the crossfitters i know are paleo and caffeine free as well.


Can amphetamine be compared to a downregulated daily pre-workout 80mg caffeine habit?


Red Bull considered harmful:

"The results of a study showed that the ingestion of one, 250mL can of sugar-free Red Bull, in a sample of 30 healthy young adults, had an immediate detrimental effect on both endothelial function, and normal blood coagulation. This temporarily raised the cardiovascular risk in these individuals to a level comparable to that of an individual with established coronary artery disease."

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1443950608...


He didn't even suggest it was sugar-free. The sugary stuff is presumably even worse for you (and in my experience: addictive)


I thought the same thing. Some of the worst workouts of my life have been after a cup of coffee.


Errr, you condemn the use of simple sugars before a workout, but then advocate using Gatorade during a workout? IANAD but I'm pretty sure drinking protein during a workout will be far more beneficial to your overall health (unless you are doing something like a marathon, in which case you will need carbs at some point, but marathons in general are terrible for your body).


Do you know of any good references for adderall and ripped heart muscle / increased creatine kinase levels? I did a quick google search and did not find anything reputable/informative.




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