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Although caffeine is one of the most commonly used substances in combat sports, information about its ergogenic effects on these disciplines is very limited.
To determine the effectiveness of ingesting a moderate dose of caffeine to enhance overall performance during a simulated Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competition.
Fourteen elite BJJ athletes participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental design. In a random order, the athletes ingested either 3 mg/kg body mass of caffeine or a placebo (cellulose, 0 mg/kg) and performed 2 simulated BJJ combats (with 20 min rest between them), following official BJJ rules. Specific physical tests such as maximal handgrip dynamometry, maximal height during a countermovement jump, permanence during a maximal static-lift test, peak power in a bench-press exercise, and blood lactate concentration were measured at 3 specific times: before the first combat and immediately after the first and second combats. The combats were video-recorded to analyze fight actions.
After the caffeine ingestion, participants spent more time in offensive actions in both combats and revealed higher blood lactate values (P < .05). Performance in all physical tests carried out before the first combat was enhanced with caffeine (P < .05), and some improvements remained after the first combat (eg, maximal static-lift test and bench-press exercise; P < .05). After the second combat, the values in all physical tests were similar between caffeine and placebo.
Caffeine might be an effective ergogenic aid for improving intensity and physical performance during successive elite BJJ combats.
Diaz-Lara, Portillo, García, and Abián-Vicén are with the Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain. del Coso and Areces are with the Sport Science Inst, Camilo José Cela University, Madrid, Spain.