Exogenous Caffeine Ingestion Does Not Increase Plantarflexor Torque in Older or Younger Men

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Lucas Ugliara Faculty of Physical Education, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil

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Martim Bottaro Faculty of Physical Education, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil

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Sávio Alex Faculty of Physical Education, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil

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James J. Tufano Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

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Anthony J. Blazevich Centre for Human Performance, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia

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Valdinar Junior Faculty of Physical Education, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil

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Amilton Vieira Faculty of Physical Education, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil

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Aging is associated with neurodegeneration and a loss of muscle function, especially in lower-limb muscles. While caffeine may augment muscle force generation through multiple effects on the central nervous system, no studies have yet compared the effects of caffeine on force-generating capacity between younger and older men, who might respond differently due to age-related changes in the structures on which caffeine acts. In a double-blind, controlled trial, 22 younger (25 ± 5 years) and 21 older (68 ± 6 years) men were tested for isometric plantarflexor torque on two separate days (2–7 days apart) before and 60 min after ingesting 3 mg/kg (∼2 cups of coffee) of caffeine or placebo. No effects of caffeine ingestion on peak torque or rate of torque development were detected in either older or younger men. Therefore, 3 mg/kg of caffeine may not acutely counteract age-related decreases in force capacity of the functionally important plantarflexor muscles.

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