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Old 01-17-2006, 02:40 PM
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El Paso Mark
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Question Coffee before a Match?



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Greetings all. I don’t know if this has been discussed or brought up before, but how many of you coffee drinkers have your morning brew before a match or practice session? All the coffee drinkers are familiar with the “Caffeine Jitters” I’m sure, so how do you think that effects accuracy, if at all?

Normally I’m at least a 4 cup o’ coffee in the morning guy, but a year or so ago I was trying the “Adkins Diet,” and I cut out all caffeine. I have to qualify with my sidearm every quarter, and usually I score a 149 or 150 (Max), but my “Group” leaves a lot to be desired. That quarter, when I was off the caffeine, I shot the best, tightest group I’ve ever shot before, or since (Diet only lasted a few weeks, but that’s another story). A fist sized group as opposed to pie-plate size. All conditions, ammo, etc. were exactly as before, except for one thing- No coffee that morning.

So I’m wondering, in our quest for the competitive edge and the way to squeeze out every possible bit of accuracy, how much do you think coffee/caffeine effects our shooting ability? Granted, in my example I was firing a 9mm pistol standing, using strong, weak, and both hands for a Law Enforcement qualification, and we’re using precision instruments, “Laying in” our guns on a solid table & rest, using the barest amount of hold-pressure-touch. But still, I wonder.

So how much coffee do you drink before a match? Same? Less? None?

What do you think?

Cheers,

Mark
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2006, 03:35 PM
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I don't shoot competitively, but I do notice the difference caffeine makes when I'm shoooting. It's about 30-40 minutes to one place where I shoot. If I suck down coffee on the way, it adversely affects shooting.
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:43 PM
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I never eat or drink anything before a compitition which makes me a little edgy in turn sharpening my senses.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:23 PM
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Cigarettes will do the same or worse. Both together??
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:39 AM
MikeL
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I think there is something to your results. BUT, you were already weaned off the coffee before the day of the quals. I've read other places that if you normally have several cups a day and go cold turkey the day of the match the withdrawal effects would be more detrimental than the caffiene effects were.
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:59 AM
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a two edged sword-or a double barreled 40x. What are they worth to some of the gun collectors?? Absolutely nothing.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:19 AM
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this question raises another issue.....

is takin my blood presure meds before shooting considered "illegal doping"???..... ....ROFLMAO..... will we have to worry about the olympic commitee showin up for random testing???????

w/ all us old codgers around, i can't believe i'm the first to post it..........i know i'm not the first to consider it!!!!!!!....

lol
cletus

Last edited by cletus hungwell; 01-18-2006 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langenc
Cigarettes will do the same or worse. Both together??
Alas, I'm a user of both (Nicotine & Caffeine). Sigh. Didn't think about cigarette use before and during shooting. Thanx for pointing that out.

Quote:
I think there is something to your results. BUT, you were already weaned off the coffee before the day of the quals. I've read other places that if you normally have several cups a day and go cold turkey the day of the match the withdrawal effects would be more detrimental than the caffiene effects were.
Good point Mike, I didn't think about that.

Quote:
is takin my blood presure meds before shooting considered "illegal doping"???.....
Somebody over on Benchrest.com jokingly suggested Valium prior to a match. So yeah, maybe we better watch out for the Commitee

Cheers,

Mark

Last edited by El Paso Mark; 01-18-2006 at 01:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2006, 01:13 PM
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I read a very interesting article on this subject a while back, several doctors that work with shooters were involved. It was the conclusion of the article that if your body is used to caffiene than it is better to maintain your normal habits as any change seemed to cause more trouble.

Nicotine was not part of that study.

Psycology Today has an interesting thing about coffee or tea and their various benefits. I have ALWAYS been a tea drinker. It came up with 4 plusses for the coffee and 6 for tea. The interesting thing was that it was VERY clear that you are better off drinking a reasonable amount of either than nothing at all!!! All these years of thinking that they were feeding a vice it turns out that we were doing a good job of self medicating!!!

Now my one LARGE cup of tea every morning sweetened with a tablespoon of honey (also very good for you) can be enjoyed without any afterthoughts.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2006, 05:12 PM
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Several years ago I was running late to a match, so I skipped my morning coffee. The club was about 20 minutes away from home, and the first relay had already started when I got there. I was tired, shaky, and jittery, so I asked to be placed in the third relay and took off to get a cuppa joe. By the time my turn came up to go to the line I was feeling much more like myself. I think I would have really tanked if I'd had to go on without getting the coffee...
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:16 PM
Danny Creasy
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In "Sixguns" by Elmer Keith he advised: "To be a good shot, just be your normal self, do not eat to excess or drink to excess or smoke to excess." and "On the other hand, many times I have seen match shooters who were jittery and had a tummy full of angle worms, so to speak. A drink of whiskey frequently took the springs out of their tummies and calmed them down until they were deadly accurate shots." There you go guys. Just keep it on the DL and kick back two or three fingers of Scotch before the event and you will be okay.
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Paso Mark

Somebody over on Benchrest.com jokingly suggested Valium prior to a match. So yeah, maybe we better watch out for the Commitee

Cheers,

Mark
That's why they test for beta blockers at the Olympics, which slow the heart rate and allow the shooters to shoot between beats.

Caffine is a CNS stimulant so while it makes you 'sharper' its not going to help your accuracy any.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2006, 10:15 PM
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Cool Sucking on a Starbuck's at a match...

One of the other guys asked if coffee was a 'problem' with my shooting
My answer was: "NAH! - I just fire on the Uproll!
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheffieldshootr
In "Sixguns" by Elmer Keith he advised: "To be a good shot, just be your normal self, do not eat to excess or drink to excess or smoke to excess." and "On the other hand, many times I have seen match shooters who were jittery and had a tummy full of angle worms, so to speak. A drink of whiskey frequently took the springs out of their tummies and calmed them down until they were deadly accurate shots." There you go guys. Just keep it on the DL and kick back two or three fingers of Scotch before the event and you will be okay.
me and my friend usually have a beer and a drink of makers mark before we shoot a usbr target,i dont know if it helps us any, but we figured it might.
we arent at a range where there are other people around, so theres no range rules. _scotty
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:09 PM
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My "breakfast" every morning is a 1 quart mug of coffee. I DO NOT function well without it.
Some of my best scores and groups were shot not long after finishing "breakfast"
Paul
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