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Andrew Foskett, Ajmol Ali and Nicholas Gant

There is little evidence regarding the benefits of caffeine ingestion on cognitive function and skillful actions during sporting performance, especially in sports that are multifaceted in their physiological, skill, and cognitive demands.

Purpose:

To examine the influence of caffeine on performance during simulated soccer activity.

Methods:

Twelve male soccer players completed two 90-min soccer-specific intermittent running trials interspersed with tests of soccer skill (LSPT). The trials were separated by 7 days and adhered to a randomized crossover design. On each occasion participants ingested 6 mg/kg body mass (BM) of caffeine (CAF) or a placebo (PLA) in a double-blind fashion 60 min before exercise. Movement time, penalties accrued, and total time were recorded for the LSPT. Physiological and performance markers were measured throughout the protocol. Water (3 ml/kg BM) was ingested every 15 min.

Results:

Participants accrued significantly less penalty time in the CAF trial (9.7 ± 6.6 s vs. PLA 11.6 ± 7.4 s; p = .02), leading to a significantly lower total time in this trial (CAF 51.6 ± 7.7 s vs. PLA 53.9 ± 8.5 s; p = .02). This decrease in penalty time was probably attributable to an increased passing accuracy in the CAF trial (p = .06). Jump height was 2.7% (± 1.1%) higher in the CAF trial (57.1 ± 5.1 cm vs. PLA 55.6 ± 5.1 cm; p = .01).

Conclusions:

Caffeine ingestion before simulated soccer activity improved players’ passing accuracy and jump performance without any detrimental effects on other performance parameters.

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Nicholas Gant, Ajmol Ali and Andrew Foskett

Carbohydrate and caffeine are known to independently improve certain aspects of athletic performance. However, less is understood about physiological and performance outcomes when these compounds are coingested in a rehydration and carbohydrate-replacement strategy. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of adding a moderate dose of caffeine to a carbohydrate solution during prolonged soccer activity. Fifteen male soccer players performed two 90-min intermittent shuttle-running trials. They ingested a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CON) providing a total of 1.8 g/kg body mass (BM) of carbohydrate or a similar solution with added caffeine (CAF; 3.7 mg/kg BM). Solutions were ingested 1 hr before exercise and every 15 min during the protocol. Soccer passing skill and countermovement-jump height (CMJ) were quantified before exercise and regularly during exercise. Sprinting performance, heart rate, blood lactate concentration (La) and the subjective experiences of participants were measured routinely. Mean 15-m sprint time was faster during CAF (p = .04); over the final 15 min of exercise mean sprint times were CAF 2.48 ± 0.15 s vs. CON 2.59 ± 0.2 s. Explosive leg power (CMJ) was improved during CAF (52.9 ± 5.8 vs. CON 51.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = .03). Heart rate was elevated throughout CAF, and ratings of pleasure were significantly enhanced. There were no significant differences in passing skill, rating of perceived exertion, La, or body-mass losses between trials. The addition of caffeine to the carbohydrate-electrolyte solution improved sprinting performance, countermovement jumping, and the subjective experiences of players. Caffeine appeared to offset the fatigue-induced decline in self-selected components of performance.

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Manuel D. Quinones and Peter W.R. Lemon

soccer passing test (LSPT; described below). A final measure of blood glucose and lactate were collected following the SDT. Repeated Sprint Ability Test The RSA test was used to assess physical performance toward the end of the simulated soccer match. This test was comprised of 12 × 30-m sprints each

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Jordan D. Philpott, Chris Donnelly, Ian H. Walshe, Elizabeth E. MacKinley, James Dick, Stuart D.R. Galloway, Kevin D. Tipton and Oliver C. Witard

at angles 90° and 0° respectively at the knee joint. Each participant performed 3 × 3 sets/reps of the MVC protocol. Soccer Skill Test The Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT) ( Ali et al., 2007 ) was used to assess soccer skill performance. Participants were required to complete sixteen