• Bill Gaylor

Running gives you BAD KNEES! + Caffeine dehydrates!

These two "myths" have been around a long time and I still get people coming up to me on the regular saying I don't want to run too much because it will give me bad knees. This was also the general consensus on an Instagram poll I did a few days prior to our podcast episode!


Yeah so about 60ish people answered that question and it was clear what everyone thought. Now I think the train of thought here is was that if you do too much of any physical activity you are perhaps going to get injuries. Now lets look at the data which shows that doing more miles is actually doing the opposite.

To summarise what the article found was that those who actually ran FEWER miles were reporting MORE knee pain than those who ran further. Now, these are all athletes who compete in 100-mile races so as you can imagine the mileage is going to be high!

Furthermore, Tom found a study on injury rates per 1000 hours of activity. Once again it pointed towards running more resulted in less injury.

This study found that "Novice runners are at significantly higher risk of injury 17.8 (95 % CI 16.7–19.1) than recreational runners, who sustained 7.7 (95 % CI 6.9–8.7) running-related injuries per 1000 h of running." This boils down to a few key points and to why we think this is the case.

  • Too much too soon. Novice/new runners tend to go out the gates hot without any real idea of what they are doing. As with any exercise it has got to be PROGRESSIVE. This leads onto the next point

  • Cardiovascular health comes on quicker than your joints, ligaments, tendons etc. This essentially means you haven't given your body enough time to strengthen to the pace to distance your cardiovascular system is letting you do. This can lead to overtraining and injuries!

  • Proper recovery. The more experienced you become the more you understand the need for rest days. This doesn't just mean sitting on the sofa all-day this means things such as working on mobility, stretching and getting out and doing some low impact activity such as walking or swimming (Promotes recovery) Newer runners may not even want to take a rest day and just get out as much as they can. Once again can lead to injuries.

We get into A LOT of depth in the podcast episode including more into things like osteoarthritis as well. (Available bottom of post) Bottom line is that as long as you are SENSIBLE and PROGRESSIVE with your running there is no real evidence saying that running is going to damage your knees. Here are 5 more experts giving their take on this common myth!

Will drinking that morning coffee or taking that pre-workout actually dehydrate you? We tackled this fairly quickly in the podcast and the bottom line is no. Especially if you have caffeine a lot! Caffeine is a mild diuretic essentially meaning that it makes you wee more and for some of us need a dump! BUT read this extract from an article by Eric Trexler

"It is certainly true that caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, meaning it increases urine output (and, therefore, fluid loss). However, the most common methods of ingesting large caffeine doses also involve fluid ingestion, such as drinking a cup of coffee or an energy drink. So, while a cup of coffee may slightly increase urine output, it also provides several ounces of water and therefore has a net positive effect for hydration status. A 2016 study evaluated the hydrating effect of several beverages by monitoring fluid balance in the 4 hours following ingestion. The beverage hydration index of caffeinated coffee was lower than plain water, but not by much, and certainly not by a large enough magnitude to be concerned about. In addition, humans develop a tolerance to the diuretic effect of caffeine, to the extent that it becomes even more negligible in people who consume caffeine regularly."

I've linked in the entire article down below as it covers everything to do with caffeine and it's really worth the read.

Hopefully, we've put your minds at ease in terms of running and drinking your morning cup of coffee. If you want more you can listen to the full podcast episode on this topic down below where we are also joined by an unintentional guest in the form of Toms cat Ralphy. Towards the end of the episode, he just went rogue. Certainly worth a listen just to hear that unfold.


Next week is all about BCAAs and the rise of the BCAA beverage (NOCCO and the like). Podcast will release 06/07/20 with a blog post to follow!

Final point. We'd be super interested to hear your thoughts on this post. Did you or do you still believe in these myths? Perhaps you're a runner and have suffered from knee pain? We'd love to hear about your experiences, so please leave a comment down below and maybe we can discuss the root cause of the knee pain? Hope this has been helpful. Back next week with more health and fitness related information to wrap your brains around! Speak soon.

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