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Caffeine's Affect on You and Your Dog's Health

Reynold Krieg
Reynold Krieg

Sep 29, 2014

There are a few questions about caffeine when it comes to running and/or working out.  Most people attribute caffeine to coffee: rightfully so, a normal cup of Joe has about 65 mg of caffeine. That's an easy way to infuse the blood with a little jolt.  It also comes in plenty of other food and drink including your good old Red Bull and other energy drinks, energy shots, gels, chews, bars, tea, chocolate, etc.  

As registered dietician Kate Geagan is quoted saying, “We know that it can boost performance and enhance alertness." In order to give your workout a kick, consume it prior to exercising and up to halfway through.  As Geagan added, “I would steer people away from energy drinks.  They aren’t regulated so their ingredient list isn’t necessarily accurate. While you may get a short-term boost for those, ultimately they make you feel less energy.”

Additionally, consuming too much caffeine, like anything, can lead to harmful affects on your body, including anxiety, an upset stomach, and jittery/sleeplessness.  As you know, sleep is crucial to recovery so anything prohibiting sleep is an absolutely no-no.  Lastly, caffeine, like alcohol, can be a diuretic which means it may cause you to be dehydrated.  Make sure if you're having a few cups of coffee or a Red Bull Vodka you make sure to drink enough water!

Now, since we know you're not out there on a solo mission, we'll tackle another common question.  Is it ok for a dog to have caffeine?  The simple answer is no, it's certainly not recommended.  Like plenty of other foods and even alcohol you shouldn't give to your dog, they're not going to croke over a sip of Joe.  However, dogs are much more sensitive to the caffeine than humans...think about the difference in pure size alone.  The lethal dose of caffeine for dogs is 150 mg/kg.  If you think you're dog has consumed too much caffeine, contact a vet immediately as there is an antidote that can be administered.  

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