If you want to outrun a zombie would drinking coffee help?

We know from reading about zombies that the CDHD-2 subtype has the ability to walk and run, their motor cortex and cerebellum is somewhat functioning compared to the CDHD-1 zombies. They can run after you or even climb over walls, they are actually quite agile creatures as seen in World War Z. Nothing stops them from coming after you. This made me think…what if a CDHD-2 zombie was chasing me? I am a runner myself, so I know that my first instinct would be to run away from them as long as I didn’t run out of breath, which wouldn’t give me much time considering how far one needs to run to escape a fast zombie. From previous experience I know that drinking coffee before workouts can improve one’s stamina and ability to workout. It is known that coffee helps speed up your metabolism while also giving you a boost of energy and endurance. When people consume coffee before they exercise it helps to reduce the amount of glycogen in the muscles, energy that is used up during a workout. Once caffeine reaches the brain, a caffeine molecule is similar to the adenosine molecule and can therefore act as a competitive inhibitor by binding to the adenosine receptors. It helps delay the fatigue within your muscles by blocking adenosine receptors on fat cells that are stored, which reduces the glycogen you are burning. The longer glycogen lasts, the longer your muscles can function to their best ability. In addition, with enough intake, coffee acts as a stimulant and is ergogenic, enhancing your performance in difficult physical activities without fatigue. It can help with long periods of exercise or with short periods of intense activity.

The correlation between coffee and its ability to enhance performance when exercising led me to find a research article by Isaiah Trice and Emily M. Haymes. Trice and Haymes conducted an experiment in 1995 titled, “Effects of Caffeine Ingestion on Exercise-Induced Changes During High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise.” Their area of interest was the effect of caffeine on time exhaustion. They tested the hypothesis that time to exhaustion during intermittent exercise would be significantly greater with caffeine rather than with a placebo treatment. Half the participants consumed caffeine within an hour of the test. Participants experienced 30 minutes of exercise with one-minute intervals between cycling and rest while the participant was cycling at 70 rpm. The results concluded that the time to exhaustion when experienced by cycling was significantly longer with the consumption of caffeine compared to the trial with the placebo (Trice & Haymes 1995). This study showed that there were positive effects on the amount of time it took the participant to become fatigued when they consumed coffee when compared to the participants who did not consume the coffee.

So if you are attempting to survive the zombie apocalypse, then you may want to consider consuming a couple cups of coffee when you spot the herd of zombies coming closer to you. It would give you the boost of energy you need to outrun them and also help you get a better workout!

For more information on the experiment:

http://journals.humankinetics.com/AcuCustom/Sitename/Documents/DocumentItem/8631.pdf

Sources:

Trice, I., & Haymes, E. M. (1995). Effects of caffeine ingestion on exercise-induced changes during high-intensity, intermittent exercise. International journal of sport nutrition5, 37-37.

“Consuming Caffeine before Working Out.” / Fitness / Weight Loss. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/consuming-caffeine-before-working-out.html&gt;.

“Caffeine And The Endurance Athlete.” TrainingPeaks. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/caffeine-and-the-endurance-athlete&gt;.

“How Does Caffeine in Coffee Work?” How Does Caffeine in Coffee Work? Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://www.edinformatics.com/interactive_molecules/how_does_caffeine_work.htm&gt;.

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