Thursday, March 13, 2014

"How [Some Endurance] Athletes Strategically Use Caffeine"

Caffeine molecule

I'm not much into caffeine myself, reserving my consumption of it for those infrequent times when I'm faced with a choice between a diet caffeinated soda and an non-caffeinated sugar-sweetened one.

But from my perspective as an exercise and nutrition scientist, this article on the use of caffeine by elite endurance athletes was very interesting. (I'll probably be checking out the book it was adapted from at my local library.)

I do have a bone to pick, though. The article's first sentence has one fatal flaw. Can you see it?
Every year, many of the planet’s fittest athletes converge in Kona, Hawaii, for the Ironman World Championship.
Ironman athletes are no doubt fit. But they can hardly be called the planet's fittest athletes. Fittest for their sport, to be sure, but fitness is sport specific.

Put a 123-pound male Ironman up against world record-holding 123-pound powerlifter Andrzej Stanaszek, of Poland, whose combined squat, bench press, and deadlift tally to a staggering 1306 pounds, and suddenly the Ironman is looking more like a limp noodle.

My Apple dictionary indicates that being fit means "having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently."

The Ironman is going to be worthless in the powerlifting world and vice versa, since neither athlete will have the requisite qualities or skills to undertake the other's sport with any degree of competence.


Spencer said...

Perhaps the author is British and really meant that the athletes congregating in Kona were unusually good looking?

Nate said...

Well, he lives in Belfast, Maine, but that doesn't mean he's not British.