Is caffeine a doping substance?
Wrote at 17:00 by Stefano Urso in: Coffee Quality,
Caffeine can be considered as a doping substance because the IOC (International Olympic Committee) found that high doses of caffeine were taken by athletes for its exciting effects: the caffeine was administered mainly in the form of pharmaceutical products (e.g. pads).
In order not to prohibit the possibility of drinking caffeinated beverages, the IOC fixed a minimum value
of 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine: only if the concentration of caffeine in an athlete's urine sample exceeds this value the result of the control is declared positive. In truth it’s not possible to determine with certainty which is the coffee amount that can reach that level, so to the athletes is advised not to ingest more than 6-8 espresso cups during the three hours before a sporting event.
Caffeine, in particular, can have positive effects on performance by improving focus and strength in the long term (e.g. cycling), even if with a high variability from person to person. After the oral caffeine intake, it’s detectable in the blood within 5 minutes: then it persists for several hours (the caffeine halves it’s life into the bloods in a 3 to 6 hours).