Golf Digest Videos

How Caffeine Affects Your Golf Game

In this influential experiment, three golfers of varying skill levels hit a series of shots while caffeinating between each round to see how caffeine affects their golf game. Sports medicine physician Dr. Ara Suppiah will explain what's happening to each golfer's body while each golfer tries to describe what they're feeling.

Released on 10/22/2018

Credits

Starring: Ara Suppiah

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat music)
00:02
My name is Cory and I'm a 4.1 index.
00:05
My name is Jon and I'm a 5.7 index.
00:08
My name is Mike and my handicap is 20.
00:11
(upbeat music)
00:25
Mm, coffee.
00:28
Coffee and caffeine is your friend.
00:33
Use it, don't abuse it.
00:35
(upbeat music)
00:38
Feeling a little tired.
00:39
The last time I had coffee was a little over 24 hours.
00:41
And right now I just don't have the energy
00:43
to put full force behind the swings.
00:45
I don't feel good Ben.
00:47
I got a headache.
00:48
I think that first cup of coffee will go a long way.
00:51
I could wind up getting pretty jittery
00:53
as we start pounding cups two and three.
00:55
Yeah, I'm definitely concerned about drinkin'
00:56
too much coffee, but bring it on.
00:58
Hi my name is Jorge.
00:59
Hi I'm John.
01:01
Today we're gonna be checking three golfers.
01:03
Checking their vitals, primarily blood pressure and pulse.
01:07
As he drinks more and more caffeine,
01:09
I expect to see dilation of the eyes,
01:11
probably some increased breathing or heart rate.
01:13
His base is 128 over 82 and your heart rate is about 78.
01:20
So 108 over 78 and your heart's pumpin' at 62 beats a minute
01:25
that's amazing.
01:26
You have a heart like a race horse.
01:29
Give it to me straight.
01:30
It's 138 over 80 and 90 beats a minute.
01:34
Cool. Thank you.
01:35
Thanks very much.
01:37
(upbeat music)
01:44
[Cory] Having not drank coffee for the last 24 hours
01:46
I definitely have a little bit of a headache.
01:49
And I'm a lot groggier that I though I would be,
01:51
especially yesterday afternoon, ah.
01:55
(upbeat music)
02:01
[Jon] So symptoms I'm having right now,
02:03
prior to having any coffee's,
02:05
definitely have some headaches.
02:06
I guess once the caffeine starts flowin'
02:08
I think it will be a little easier just because
02:10
I'll be in my normal state of golf.
02:14
(light music)
02:24
Overly caffeinated I know I'm gonna try and like
02:26
kill that ball.
02:28
And right now I just don't have the energy
02:30
to put full force behind the swings.
02:33
Although I can't focus on anything.
02:35
Like I said I have that really, that little bit of headache.
02:39
Nice.
02:40
[Cory] Thanks.
02:42
(jazzy music)
02:45
First round did not feel good.
02:47
I feel physically pretty drained.
02:49
I'm definitely tired, I've been yawning
02:50
for the past three hours.
02:51
Feel like I need to sit down.
02:54
I think performance will probably get better
02:55
for the first couple rounds of coffee,
02:57
and then once over caffeination sets in,
02:59
things could get a little dicey.
03:01
Irons were bad.
03:02
I don't think I hit the green.
03:03
Irons were very bad (bleeps).
03:05
I trenched a couple, sliced a couple,
03:07
and over cooked the last one.
03:08
It's for science, it's for science.
03:11
Not good.
03:12
I am feeling a lack of caffeine right now.
03:13
It's sucks, looking forward to the coffee.
03:16
(upbeat music)
03:18
Caffeine is the active ingredient of coffee,
03:21
which then is further broken down in the body
03:25
to three other active ingredients.
03:27
Theobromine which helps open up the blood vessels
03:31
and improve oxygenation.
03:33
Theophylline helps open up the airways
03:35
and again increase the amount of oxygen you can consume.
03:37
That's really good.
03:38
And thirdly, paraxanthine, which helps break down fat,
03:43
to use fat as a source of energy.
03:45
But also it improves how well your heart pumps.
03:49
When you hit a driver and you have enough caffeine,
03:52
you'll be able to hit that with a lot more authority
03:55
and a lot more power.
03:57
(upbeat music)
04:04
I'm starting to feel a little bit shaky,
04:05
but overall a lot more alert and within minutes
04:09
honestly, just felt like a different person.
04:11
It was awesome.
04:12
(upbeat music)
04:16
Aah.
04:25
There it is.
04:27
[Mike] My head feels better than it did before.
04:29
Still felt control, even swinging harder.
04:33
I definitely felt better.
04:37
Another pull, everything's left.
04:39
(upbeat music)
04:44
[Jon] After the cup of coffee I felt great.
04:47
I felt like I was able to be more normal
04:49
and be myself.
04:50
The caffeine seemed to significantly help my putting
04:54
for some reason.
04:55
I though it was gonna be worse, but I'll go with it.
05:00
(upbeat music)
05:04
Driving felt great.
05:04
I found an extra gear with the driver.
05:07
Was able to really swing at it more aggressively.
05:09
I just had a lot more thought running through my head.
05:11
I felt like I was swinging harder
05:12
the second round than the first round,
05:13
but I was just getting way more backspin on the ball,
05:15
which was decreasing the loft.
05:17
After this next cup of coffee, I think it'll be right
05:21
where I usually am as far as energy.
05:22
I think next round will probably be my best round,
05:26
even better than the ones after that.
05:28
Certainly drinking a cup of coffee at the start of a round
05:31
will help kind of give you that energy boost
05:34
and the overall feeling of a little bit more confidence,
05:37
a little bit more euphoria.
05:38
Colors seems more colorful.
05:40
Music sounds sweeter.
05:43
(laughing)
05:46
You drink your second cup of coffee
05:48
and let's say you cannot tolerate caffeine.
05:51
First your concentration was very good,
05:52
now you can get a little bit more distracted.
05:54
You find that your mind is racing.
05:56
You'll find that your hands start to tremor,
05:57
your heart might race, you might feel palpitations,
06:00
your heart rate might actually go up.
06:02
118 over 84.
06:05
Going up.
06:05
Yeah, going up, and 78.
06:08
Your ability to really pick a target,
06:10
really focus on a target and hit that target will go down.
06:13
138 over 82 and heart rate 84.
06:19
Especially for something like golf,
06:20
where you need fine motor control and a calm mind
06:23
and a calm heart, may not be too good.
06:26
You might actually do worse.
06:27
The whole overall feeling of anxiety and impending doom
06:30
is not fun.
06:32
He might feel different, maybe because in his mind
06:35
it's caffeine, but as far as his body's concerned,
06:38
nothing has happened.
06:40
Yeah.
06:42
It's not just how well you break down coffee.
06:47
It's also how well you tolerate it.
06:48
That's two different things right.
06:50
So if you're a fast metabolizer, you can consume coffee
06:54
and it's out of the system very quickly.
06:56
But also, if you carry a certain gene,
06:59
you can tolerate coffee which means you are not
07:03
as sensitive to coffee.
07:05
(slurping)
07:07
That one's for later.
07:09
(upbeat music)
07:15
I think my peak was during round two.
07:17
But one the caffeine starts wearing off,
07:19
it's all downhill from there.
07:21
(upbeat music)
07:35
[Cory] Round two was like the sweet spot.
07:37
As far as having the energy level and being able
07:39
to keep the tempo.
07:40
I just find myself swinging kind of fast, not smooth
07:43
at this point.
07:45
And it's never really a good thing for power.
07:48
(upbeat music)
08:00
But I'm too jacked up.
08:01
I don't have any feels, and it really affects you
08:03
when you trying to keep hands and your wrists calm,
08:06
and just use your shoulders.
08:07
Putts are terrible.
08:09
I don't expect them to get better.
08:10
(upbeat music)
08:19
My body feels a little bit more just lively in general.
08:22
Nothing crazy yet, but I think we'll see what that next
08:25
espresso shot does.
08:26
I think my peak was during round two,
08:29
but once the caffeine starts wearing off,
08:32
it's all downhill from there.
08:34
No I don't feel too jittery.
08:36
But then when I hold my hand up it's a little bit,
08:38
but I cannot wait for this next cup of espresso.
08:41
When you're hitting a shot that requires finesse,
08:44
an iron, a wedge, into a green, too much caffeine
08:48
is not gonna help you.
08:50
You were at 138 before, you're at 110 over 72.
08:55
Caffeine is typically broken down by the liver,
08:57
and in most people it is out of the system
09:00
between four and six hours, which is why
09:02
you have coffee at 8:00 in the morning,
09:04
lunchtime you need a pick me up,
09:05
because it's out of the system by then.
09:07
You were at 78 before, and now your at 62.
09:12
And you were 92 before and you're 92 again.
09:16
Steady.
09:17
When we talk about a stimulants, you can go from
09:19
one scale, which is a mild stimulant such as a weak
09:23
cup of coffee, and then you have the extreme stimulants
09:25
such as I would say something like amphetamines, cocaine.
09:29
If you consume 600 milligrams of coffee, which is about
09:32
six strong espressos, that equates to about 20
09:36
milligrams of amphetamines which is a strong
09:39
stimulating dose.
09:40
(upbeat music)
09:46
[Cory] All the feelings.
09:47
Definitely a little bit of indigestion,
09:49
just starting to feel my stomach do a couple of back flips
09:51
after all that coffee.
09:52
310.
09:54
(cheers)
09:56
Definitely felt my heart beating out of my chest
09:59
a little bit, shortly there after,
10:00
it's kind of quieted down.
10:02
Overall definitely just a bit of a crash.
10:06
(jazzy music)
10:14
[Jon] I'm not too jittery I don't think.
10:16
It's funny I don't have any, I have a headache,
10:18
and then not so much, and I get a headache again.
10:21
(upbeat music)
10:33
I feel okay.
10:34
Kinda feel normal.
10:35
A little jittery, but it's not really affecting my putting
10:38
which makes no sense.
10:40
Maybe I need to drink more coffee.
10:44
(clapping)
10:45
Thank you, thank you.
10:51
I probably wouldn't choose to have this much coffee
10:53
if I was playing a full 18 holes,
10:55
but maybe I should, I'm feeling good.
10:58
This is probably too much coffee,
11:00
to be drinking during a round of golf at this point.
11:02
I think I passed the sweet spot about a cup and a half ago.
11:05
And I'm at the point now where I have to just
11:07
keep drinking more coffee to keep my energy levels
11:09
up to get through the rest of the day.
11:11
After a little while, when caffeine last between
11:13
four and six hours, when it's no longer there,
11:16
the rush makes you feel more sleepy.
11:19
118 over 78 and 82.
11:24
Also, you lose the effect of dopamine.
11:27
So now you start feeling kind of they typical crash.
11:30
Kind of feeling down, kind of feeling less energy,
11:33
more sleepy, and that's when you go,
11:35
you know what, I need a pick me up,
11:37
I need a second cup of coffee.
11:39
118 over 78.
11:41
This cycle can go on and over a period of time,
11:44
you'll develop a tolerance to coffee.
11:48
136 over 92 and 90.
11:51
I'm feeling good so maybe I should think about
11:52
having six shots of espresso before I go back out again.
11:57
(thunder clapping)
12:02
Sounds like all hell's breaking loose above us,
12:04
and the sky's are about to open up,
12:05
kind of in every direction.
12:07
Cory's hitting the ball too hard.
12:09
(laughing)
12:10
The clouds broke.
12:11
Ah, the day was good, I mean I thought the results
12:13
were actually pretty interesting.
12:14
The third round was probably the sweet spot
12:16
as far as caffeine goes, which was about
12:18
six shots of espresso.
12:19
I think the key for me is I'm gonna keep caffeinating
12:21
during a round of golf, I have to eat while I'm doing it,
12:24
to kind of stay steady.
12:25
I though today was very deceiving on how I though
12:28
I was gonna play.
12:29
I thought my driver was going to be going way farther.
12:33
Just didn't have the distance today.
12:35
I'm coffee'd out.
12:36
Totally coffee'd out.
12:37
Don't want more coffee.
12:38
Definitely going to be crashing in the next couple hours
12:40
and it's gonna be a long night.
12:42
This is the shakiest I felt today.
12:44
(mellow jazz music)
12:54
[Male] Do you feel shaky?
12:55
[Jon] Shakier than I though I was gonna feel.
12:57
I though I felt okay.
12:58
It looks less shaky than I feel.
13:00
I think my eyes are vibrating too.
13:01
(laughing)
13:03
(light music)
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