I quit coffee for a week and this is how it affected my cycling performance

Headaches, a suppressed max heart rate and increased perceived exertion were all to be expected - the most surprising effects came on my return to caffeine…

Male cyclist pouring a coffee
(Image credit: Future)

Caffeine and cycling; the two are almost inextricably linked through the café stop on group rides - plus the fact that caffeine is quite possibly the most performance-enhancing aid that we can legally take. 

Many of us consume caffeine regularly, whether that’s in the form of coffee or tea, or energy gels, energy drinks, pills and other sports-specific caffeine supplements. But how much does caffeine really help with how we perform in training and on race days? What happens when we take that caffeine away?

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Andy Turner

Andy is a Sport & Exercise Scientist, fully qualified and experienced cycling coach, personal trainer and gym instructor. He spent 3 years on the road riding for a UCI cycling team and 7 years as a BC Elite rider. 


After graduating in 2020 with first-class honours in his Sport & Exercise Sciences BSc, he continued to pursue his interest in research in the field of sport science alongside setting up his coaching business, ATP Performance, and working for USA-based firm, Wahoo Sports Science. He balanced this with racing at international level, competing in prestigious events such as the Tour of Britain and the Volta a Portugal.