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Juan Del Coso, Javier Portillo, Juan José Salinero, Beatriz Lara, Javier Abian-Vicen, and Francisco Areces

The aim of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of a caffeine-containing energy drink to improve physical performance of elite field hockey players during a game. On 2 days separated by a week, 13 elite field hockey players (age and body mass = 23.2 ± 3.9 years and 76.1 ± 6.1 kg) ingested 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo drink). After 60 min for caffeine absorption, participants played a simulated field hockey game (2 × 25 min). Individual running pace and instantaneous speed during the game were assessed using GPS devices. The total number of accelerations and decelerations was determined by accelerometry. Compared with the placebo drink, the caffeinated energy drink did not modify the total distance covered during the game (6,035 ± 451 m and 6,055 ± 499 m, respectively; p = .87), average heart rate (155 ± 13 beats per min and 158 ± 18 beats per min, respectively; p = .46), or the number of accelerations and decelerations (697 ± 285 and 618 ± 221, respectively; p = .15). However, the caffeinated energy drink reduced the distance covered at moderate-intensity running (793 ± 135 and 712 ± 116, respectively; p = .03) and increased the distance covered at high-intensity running (303 ± 67 m and 358 ± 117 m; p = .05) and sprinting (85 ± 41 m and 117 ± 55 m, respectively; p = .02). Elite field hockey players can benefit from ingesting caffeinated energy drinks because they increase the running distance covered at high-intensity running and sprinting. Increased running distance at high speed might represent a meaningful advantage for field hockey performance.

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Javier Abian-Vicen, Adrián Castanedo, Pablo Abian, Cristina Gonzalez-Millan, Juan José Salinero, and Juan Del Coso

The aim was to analyze the influence of competitive round on muscle strength, body-fluid balance, and renal function in elite badminton players during a real competition. Body mass, jump height during a countermovement jump, handgrip force, and urine samples were obtained from 13 elite badminton players (6 men and 7 women) before and after the 2nd-round and quarterfinal matches of the national Spanish badminton championship. Sweat rate was determined by using prematch-to-postmatch body-mass change and by weighing individually labeled fluid bottles. Sweat rates were 1.04 ± 0.62 and 0.98 ± 0.43 L/h, while rehydration rate was 0.69 ± 0.26 and 0.91 ± 0.52 L/h for the 2nd round and quarterfinals, respectively. Thus, dehydration was 0.47% ± 1.03% after the 2nd round and 0.23% ± 0.43% after the quarterfinals. There were no differences in prematch-to-postmatch jump height, but jump height was reduced from 37.51 ± 8.83 cm after the 2nd-round game to 34.82 ± 7.37 cm after the quarterfinals (P < .05). No significant differences were found in handgrip force when comparing prepost matches or rounds, although there were significant differences between dominant and nondominant hands (P < .05). The succession of rounds caused the appearance of proteinuria, hematuria, glycosuria, and higher nitrite and ketone concentrations in urine. Rehydration patterns during a real badminton competition were effective to prevent dehydration. A badminton match did not affect jump height or handgrip force, but jump height was progressively reduced by the competitive round. Badminton players’ renal responses reflected diminished renal flux due to the high-intensity nature of this racket sport.

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Juan Del Coso, Alberto Pérez-López, Javier Abian-Vicen, Juan Jose Salinero, Beatriz Lara, and David Valadés

There are no scientific data about the effects of caffeine intake on volleyball performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a caffeine-containing energy drink to enhance physical performance in male volleyball players. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experimental design was used. In 2 different sessions separated by 1 wk, 15 college volleyball players ingested 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo). After 60 min, participants performed volleyball-specific tests: standing spike test, maximal squat jump (SJ), maximal countermovement jump (CMJ), 15-s rebound jump test (15RJ), and agility T-test. Later, a simulated volleyball match was played and recorded. In comparison with the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased ball velocity in the spike test (73 ± 9 vs 75 ± 10 km/h, P < .05) and the mean jump height in SJ (31.1 ± 4.3 vs 32.7 ± 4.2 cm, P < .05), CMJ (35.9 ± 4.6 vs 37.7 ± 4.4 cm, P < .05), and 15RJ (29.0 ± 4.0 vs 30.5 ± 4.6 cm, P < .05). The time to complete the agility test was significantly reduced with the caffeinated energy drink (10.8 ± 0.7 vs 10.3 ± 0.4 s, P < .05). In addition, players performed successful volleyball actions more frequently (24.6% ± 14.3% vs 34.3% ± 16.5%, P < .05) with the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink than with the placebo drink during the simulated game. A caffeine-containing energy drink, with a dose equivalent to 3 mg of caffeine per kg body mass, might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance and accuracy in male volleyball players.

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Cesar Gallo-Salazar, Juan Del Coso, David Sanz-Rivas, and Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez

Purpose: To determine whether the game activity and physiological responses of young tennis players differed depending on the session of play (eg, morning [MOR] vs afternoon [AFT]) and the final match outcome (eg, winners vs losers) during a simulated competition with 2 matches on the same day. Methods: A total of 12 well-trained male tennis players (age 14.5 [0.8] y) took part in a simulated competition of two 3-set matches separated by 3 h. All the matches were video recorded, and the participants were monitored using 10-Hz global positioning system units including a heart-rate monitor. Effect-size (ES) statistics were used to investigate the magnitudes of the differences. Results: During the AFT matches, in absolute terms, players covered longer total distance (ES = moderate) and ran more distance between 0 and ≤4 m·s−1 (ES = small to large) than in MOR matches. Total duration was also longer (ES = large) in the AFT, where the rest time between rallies was also longer (ES = very large). Heart rate was similar during AFT and MOR matches, but higher rates of perceived exertion (ES = moderate) were reported in the AFT. Only peak running velocity was observed to be likely higher for losers than for winners (ES = small). Conclusions: Game activity and physiological responses of young tennis players differ when 2 consecutive matches are played on the same day. These data might help elucidate the need for specific precompetition training loads and/or between-matches/sessions recovery strategies when facing overloaded competitions.

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Valentín E. Fernández-Elías, Juan Del Coso, Nassim Hamouti, Juan F. Ortega, Gloria Muñoz, Jesus Muñoz-Guerr, and Ricardo Mora-Rodríguez

Caffeine is an ergogenic aid widely used before and during prolonged exercise. Due to its prolonged biological half-life caffeine effects could remain after exercise. We aimed to investigate the metabolic, respiratory, and cardiovascular postexercise responses to preexercise graded caffeine ingestion. Twelve aerobically trained subjects (mean VO2max = 54 ± 7 ml · min−1 · kg−1) cycled for 60-min at 75% VO2max after ingesting placebo (0 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight) or 0.5, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 mg · kg−1 on five occasions. During the 3 hr postexercise, heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, lactate, and fatty acids were analyzed. None of these variables were statistically affected by preexercise caffeine ingestion between 0.5 and 4.5 mg · kg−1. However, ingestion of 4.5 mg · kg−1 of caffeine raised postexercise energy expenditure 15% above placebo (233 ± 58 vs. 202 ± 49 kcal/3 hr; p < .05). Ventilation and tidal volume were elevated after the 4.5 mg·kg−1 caffeine dose above placebo (9.2 ± 2.5 L · min−1 and 0.67 ± 0.29 L · breath−1 vs. 7.8 ± 1.5 L · min−1 and 0.56 ± 0.20 L · breath−1, respectively; p < .05). Ventilation correlated with tidal volume (r = .45; p < .05) and energy expenditure (r = .72; p < .05). In summary, preexercise ingestion of ergogenic caffeine doses do not alter postexercise cardiovascular responses. However, ingestion of 4.5 mg · kg−1 of caffeine raises 3-hr postexercise energy expenditure (i.e., 31 kcal) likely through increased energy cost of ventilation.

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Francisco Javier Diaz-Lara, Juan del Coso, Javier Portillo, Francisco Areces, Jose Manuel García, and Javier Abián-Vicén


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.

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César Gallo-Salazar, Francisco Areces, Javier Abián-Vicén, Beatriz Lara, Juan José Salinero, Cristina Gonzalez-Millán, Javier Portillo, Victor Muñoz, Daniel Juarez, and Juan Del Coso

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a caffeinated energy drink to enhance physical performance in elite junior tennis players. In 2 different sessions separated by 1 wk, 14 young (16 ± 1 y) elite-level tennis players ingested 3 mg caffeine per kg body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo). After 60 min, participants performed a handgrip-strength test, a maximal-velocity serving test, and an 8 × 15-m sprint test and then played a simulated singles match (best of 3 sets). Instantaneous running speed during the matches was assessed using global positioning (GPS) devices. Furthermore, the matches were videotaped and notated afterward. In comparison with the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased handgrip force by ~4.2% ± 7.2% (P = .03) in both hands, the running pace at high intensity (46.7 ± 28.5 vs 63.3 ± 27.7 m/h, P = .02), and the number of sprints (12.1 ± 1.7 vs 13.2 ± 1.7, P = .05) during the simulated match. There was a tendency for increased maximal running velocity during the sprint test (22.3 ± 2.0 vs 22.9 ± 2.1 km/h, P = .07) and higher percentage of points won on service with the caffeinated energy drink (49.7% ± 9.8% vs 56.4% ± 10.0%, P = .07) in comparison with the placebo drink. The energy drink did not improve ball velocity during the serving test (42.6 ± 4.8 vs 42.7 ± 5.0 m/s, P = .49). The preexercise ingestion of caffeinated energy drinks was effective to enhance some aspects of physical performance of elite junior tennis players.

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Mauricio Castro-Sepulveda, Jorge Cancino, Rodrigo Fernández-Verdejo, Cristian Pérez-Luco, Sebastian Jannas-Vela, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Juan Del Coso, and Hermann Zbinden-Foncea

During exercise, the human body maintains optimal body temperature through thermoregulatory sweating, which implies the loss of water, sodium (Na+), and other electrolytes. Sweat rate and sweat Na+ concentration show high interindividual variability, even in individuals exercising under similar conditions. Testosterone and cortisol may regulate sweat Na+ loss by modifying the expression/activity of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. This has not been tested. As a first approximation, the authors aimed to determine whether basal serum concentrations of testosterone or cortisol, or the testosterone/cortisol ratio relate to sweat Na+ loss during exercise. A total of 22 male elite soccer players participated in the study. Testosterone and cortisol were measured in blood samples before exercise (basal). Sweat samples were collected during a training session, and sweat Na+ concentration was determined. The basal serum concentrations of testosterone and cortisol and their ratio were (mean [SD]) 13.6 (3.3) pg/ml, 228.9 (41.4) ng/ml, and 0.06 (0.02), respectively. During exercise, the rate of Na+ loss was related to cortisol (r = .43; p < .05) and to the testosterone/cortisol ratio (r = −.46; p < .01), independently of the sweating rate. The results suggest that cortisol and the testosterone/cortisol ratio may influence Na+ loss during exercise. It is unknown whether this regulation depends on the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator.

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Alejandro Muñoz, Álvaro López-Samanes, Alberto Pérez-López, Millán Aguilar-Navarro, Berta Moreno-Heredero, Jesús Rivilla-García, Pablo González-Frutos, José Pino-Ortega, Esther Morencos, and Juan Del Coso

Purpose: To investigate the effects of acute caffeine (CAFF) intake on physical performance in elite women handball players. Methods: A total of 15 elite women handball players participated in a randomized, double-blind study. In 2 different trials, participants ingested either a placebo (cellulose) or 3 mg of CAFF per kilogram of body mass (mg/kg bm) before undergoing a battery of neuromuscular tests consisting of handball throws, an isometric handgrip strength test, a countermovement jump, a 30-m sprint test (SV) and a modified version of the agility T test. Then, participants performed a simulated handball game (2 × 20 min), and movement patterns were recorded with a local positioning system. Results: Compared with the placebo, CAFF increased ball velocity in all ball throws (P = .021–.044; effect size [ES] = 0.39–0.49), strength in isometric handgrip strength test (350.8 [41.2] vs 361.6 [46.1] N, P = .034; ES = 0.35), and countermovement-jump height (28.5 [5.5] vs 29.8 [5.5] cm; P = .006; ES = 0.22). In addition, CAFF decreased running time in the SV (4.9 [0.2] vs 4.8 [0.3] s; P = .042; ES = −0.34). In the simulated game, CAFF increased the frequency of accelerations (18.1 [1.2] vs 18.8 [1.0] number/min; P = .044; ES = 0.54), decelerations (18.0 [1.2] vs 18.7 [1.0] number/min; P = .032; ES = 0.56), and body impacts (20 [8] vs 22 [10] impacts/min; P = .032; ES = 0.30). However, postexercise surveys about self-reported feelings of performance indicate that players did not feel increased performance with CAFF. Conclusion: Preexercise ingestion of 3 mg/kg bm of CAFF improved ball-throwing velocity, jump, and sprint performance and the frequency of in-game accelerations and decelerations in elite women handball players.