This study assessed the influence of caffeine on metabolic and cardiovascular functions during sustained, light intensity cycling and at rest. Eight healthy, recreationally active adults participated in four randomly assigned, double-blind experimental trials of 60 min upright seated cycle exercise (30% VO2max) or equivalent rest with caffeine (5 mg ⋅ kg−1) or placebo consumed 60 min prior to data collection. Gas exchange was measured by open-circuit spirom-etry indirect calorimetry. Global blood flow was evaluated by thoracic impedance cardiography and arterial blood pressure by auscultation. A repeated measures ANOVA indicated that pretrial caffeine increased oxygen uptake and energy expenditure rate (p < 0.05) but did not change respiratory exchange ratio. Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure were elevated following caffeine intake (p < 0.05). Cardiac output, heart rate, stroke volume, and systemic vascular resistance were not significantly different between caffeine and placebo sessions. For each of the metabolic and hemodynamic variables examined, the effects of caffeine were similar during constant-load, light intensity cycling and at rest. These data illustrate that caffeine's mild thermogenic influence can be mediated without a major shift in substrate oxidation mixture. Caffeine at this dosage level alters cardiovascular dynamics by augmenting arterial blood pressure.
Hermann-J. Engels and John C. Wirth are with the Div. of HPR-Exercise Science at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202. Sueda Celik and Jodee L. Dorsey are with the Dept of Nutrition, Food, and Movement Sciences at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306.