Well written article, originally from the New York Times, but reprinted in the Arkansas Times-Democrat on the use of caffeine as a PED. Notable was the opening paragraph discussing an episode where 'Let's Run' founder Weldon Johnson discovered the benefits of caffeine in running.
Weldon Johnson first tried caffeine as a performance enhancer in 1998. He was not a coffee drinker but had heard that caffeine could make him run faster. So he went to a convenience store before a race and drank a cup of coffee. For the first time in his life, he ran 10 kilometers in less than 30 minutes. "I remember being really wired before the race," he said. "My body was shaking." From then on, he was a convert. Johnson, co-founder of racenews aggregator letsrun.com, would avoid caffeine, even in soft drinks, for a few weeks before he competed in a race, wanting to have the full stimulant effect. "It may have been a huge placebo effect, but I swore by it," Johnson said. "Having a cup of coffee exactly one hour before the race was part of my routine." Or maybe it wasn't a placebo effect.
Caffeine, it turns out, actually works. And it's legal, one of the few performance enhancers that is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Is caffeine a PED?
Caffeine is a anatagonist of adenosine A1 and A2 receptors and a phosphodiesterase inhibitor (we originally said xanthene oxidase inhibitor, which is incorrect; caffeine is a xanthine compound, if anyone cares about that), which acts as a mild stimulant. And why do we remember this obscure fact from school, although we can't remember 90% of anything any more? The compound may act on dopamine receptors to produce stimulation.
Because of the morning Red Bull. Caffeine also affects the muscles too.
Be careful though, too much java and you may experience negative effects.