Yes there is a connection between the two pastimes…..
The reason I am still awake at stupid o’clock is that I have consumed 2 litres of assorted energy/caffine drinks this evening. Although excessive, there was good reason for this: I wake most days at 6am, sometimes before and as a consequence I am rubbish in the evening after 9:30pm and have even been known to fall asleep during Strictly Come Dancing although it is the only must see TV of my viewing week. Tonight I was playing poker with a few mates and we often finish way past 1am. We usually play on a Saturday but it was a Friday this time and I was knackered on arrival at Paul’s house. If I drank beer (slowly) as I usually do I would have been asleep by 10pm so opted for 4 different energy/caffine drinks to keep me awake and to enable me to find which I liked the best.
They were on offer at Sainsbury’s – 2 for £2 this evening so I purchased 2 cans of ‘Relentless‘ and 2 cans of ‘Monster‘ which was £4 well invested as I stayed awake, alert and won the game, coming back from a seemingly beaten position. I had my first ever can of Relentless earlier in the week. One of the guys on June’s C2C, who is a very keen mountain-biker, swore by it and I was curious. Although for that ride an electrolyte was better suited for the long hours in the saddle, when you needed a pick me up as well as energy I realised that these drinks could be quite effective. I don’t mind Red Bull and the original flavour Relentless (which is made by Coca Cola) looks, smells and tastes like Red Bull, though maybe slightly less sweet and icky. The only down side is that it comes in 500ml cans rather than 250ml and one can provides a whoping 58% of your sugar RDA – so handle with care I suppose, plus there’s masses of caffine in it.
I found a Triathlon shop near the Trafford Centre yesterday and amongst other things was discussing energy drinks with a guy there. I specifically asked about caffine intensive drinks as opinion on them is divided. He showed me some shot sachets that were equivalent to 8 coffees and I said "So caffine works then?" to which Andy curtly replied "Just ask Chris Hoy if caffine works". The slightly more sensible advise he gave was to drop caffine from your daily consumption so that your body does not require such a large hit to have the desired effect. I will blog about this Tri shop again because it was a real Aladdin’s cave of technical, electronic and chemical goodies and today I managed to negociate a 5% discount for all Sage employees (well done me!). Despite this I will have to make sure I spend more time browsing than shopping in there if not I’m going to get myself in real financial trouble.
Anyway back to the poker and the results of the taste test: The fruit juice Relentless was a very sickly orange flavour, like drinking neat cordial, one of the Monsters was quite nice but it looks like I’ll be back on original Relentless in future but never more than one can at a time.
I won £40 tonight by patient play, a couple of brave bluffs and maximising my luck at the business end of the game. The winnings will go towards my triathlon-athon fund. I’m hoping to buy a wetsuit at cost price via one of tonight’s poker opponents, I’ve sourced a GPS watch in the US for about £100 and in my caffine fuelled state I have just bid £155 for a Dawes road bike (though quite unlikely to win). Hopefully I will be able to fall asleep in the next hour…….