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Pedro Tauler, Sonia Martinez, Pau Martinez, Leticia Lozano, Carlos Moreno and Antoni Aguiló

This study compared the response of interleukin (IL)-10, and also of IL-6 and IL-12 p40, to exercise and caffeine supplementation between plasma and blood mononuclear cells (BMNCs). Participants in the study (n = 28) were randomly allocated in a double-blind fashion to either caffeine (n = 14) or placebo (n = 14) treatments. One hour before completing a 15-km run competition, athletes took 6 mg/kg body mass of caffeine or a placebo. Plasma and BMNCs were purified from blood samples taken before and after competition. Concentrations of interleukins (IL-10, IL-6, and IL-12 p40), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), caffeine, adrenaline, and cortisol were measured in plasma. IL-10, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 and cAMP levels were also determined in BMNCs. Exercise induced significant increases in IL-6 and IL-10 plasma levels, with higher increases in the caffeine-supplemented group. After 2-hr recovery, these levels returned to almost preexercise values. However, no effect of caffeine on BMNC cytokines was observed. IL-10, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 levels in BMNCs increased mainly at 2 hr postexercise. cAMP levels increased postexercise in plasma and after recovery in BMNCs, but no effects of caffeine were observed. In conclusion, caffeine did not modify cytokine levels in BMNCs in response to exercise. However, higher increases of IL-10 were observed in plasma after exercise in the supplemented participants, which could suppose an enhancement of the anti-inflammatory properties of exercise.

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Brandon M. Wellington, Michael D. Leveritt and Vincent G. Kelly

Context:

Repeat-high-intensity efforts (RHIEs) have recently been shown to occur at critical periods of rugby league matches.

Purpose:

To examine the effect that caffeine has on RHIE performance in rugby league players.

Methods:

Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 11 semiprofessional rugby league players (age 19.0 ± 0.5 y, body mass 87.4 ± 12.9 kg, height 178.9 ± 2.6 cm) completed 2 experimental trials that involved completing an RHIE test after either caffeine (300 mg caffeine) or placebo (vitamin H) ingestion. Each trial consisted of 3 sets of 20-m sprints interspersed with bouts of tackling. During the RHIE test, 20-m-sprint time, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and blood lactate were measured.

Results:

Total time to complete the nine 20-m sprints during the caffeine condition was 1.0% faster (28.46 ± 1.4 s) than during the placebo condition (28.77 ± 1.7 s) (ES = 0.18, 90%CI –0.7 to 0.1 s). This resulted in a very likely chance of caffeine being of benefit to RHIE performance (99% likely to be beneficial). These improvements were more pronounced in the early stages of the test, with a 1.3%, 1.0%, and 0.9% improvement in sprint performance during sets 1, 2, and 3 respectively. There was no significant difference in RPE across the 3 sets (P = .47, 0.48, 1.00) or mean HR (P = .36), maximal HR (P = .74), or blood lactate (P = .50) between treatment conditions.

Conclusions:

Preexercise ingestion of 300 mg caffeine produced practically meaningful improvements in RHIE performance in rugby league players.

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Angus M. Hunter, Allan St, Clair Gibson, Malcolm Collins, Mike Lambert and Timothy D. Noakes

This study analyzed the effect of caffeine ingestion on performance during a repeated-measures, 100-km, laboratory cycling time trial that included bouts of 1- and 4-km high intensity epochs (HIE). Eight highly trained cyclists participated in 3 separate trials—placebo ingestion before exercise with a placebo carbohydrate solution and placebo tablets during exercise (Pl), or placebo ingestion before exercise with a 7% carbohydrate drink and placebo tablets during exercise (Cho), or caffeine tablet ingestion before and during exercise with 7% carbohydrate (Caf). Placebo (twice) or 6 mg · kg−1 caffeine was ingested 60 min prior to starting 1 of the 3 cycling trials, during which subjects ingested either additional placebos or a caffeine maintenance dose of 0.33 mg · kg−1 every 15 min to trial completion. The 100-km time trial consisted of five 1-km HIE after 10, 32, 52, 72, and 99 km, as well as four 4-km HIE after 20, 40, 60, and 80 km. Subjects were instructed to complete the time trial and all HIE as fast as possible. Plasma (caffeine) was significantly higher during Caf (0.43 ± 0.56 and 1.11 ± 1.78 mM pre vs. post Pl; and 47.32 ± 12.01 and 72.43 ± 29.08 mM pre vs. post Caf). Average power, HIE time to completion, and 100-km time to completion were not different between trials. Mean heart rates during both the 1-km HIE (184.0 ± 9.8 Caf; 177.0 ± 5.8 Pl; 177.4 ± 8.9 Cho) and 4-km HIE (181.7 ± 5.7 Caf; 174.3 ± 7.2 Pl; 175.6 ± 7.6 Cho; p < .05) was higher in Caf than in the other groups. No significant differences were found between groups for either EMG amplitude (IEMG) or mean power frequency spectrum (MPFS). IEMG activity and performance were not different between groups but were both higher in the 1-km HIE, indicating the absence of peripheral fatigue and the presence of a centrally-regulated pacing strategy that is not altered by caffeine ingestion. Caffeine may be without ergogenic benefit during endurance exercise in which the athlete begins exercise with a defined, predetermined goal measured as speed or distance.

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Kenneth R. Turley, Paola A. Eusse, Myles M. Thomas, Jeremy R. Townsend and Aaron B. Morton

This study investigated effects of low (1 mg·kg−1), moderate (3 mg·kg−1) and high (5 mg·kg−1) doses of caffeine on anaerobic performance in boys. Twenty-six 8- to 10-year-old boys participated in a double-blind, crossover, counter-balanced study. Boys received in random order a placebo (PL) or anhydrous caffeine: 1 (CAF-1), 3 (CAF-3), or 5 (CAF-5) mg caffeine·kg−1 body mass in cherry flavored Sprite. Sixty minutes following consumption boys performed a static handgrip test and then a 30-s Wingate test. Maximal grip strength (21.5 ± 4.9 & 21.6 ± 4.7 vs. 20.4 ± 4.0 kg) was significantly higher in CAF-5 & CAF-3 vs PL, respectively. Absolute and relative peak power (287 ± 72 vs 281 ± 69 W & 8.0 ± 0.9 vs 7.8 ± 1.0 W·kg−1) were significantly higher in CAF-3 vs PL, respectively. Mean power (153 ± 48 vs 146 ± 43 W) was significantly higher in CAF-5 vs PL, respectively. Peak Wingate HR was significantly higher (189 ± 8 vs 185 ± 9 beats·min−1) in CAF-5 vs PL, respectively. These findings suggest that in boys CAF-1 did not affect performance. During the Wingate test CAF-3 resulted in higher peak power while CAF-5 increased mean power. The significant increase in peak HR following the Wingate test is likely related to greater mean power generated during CAF-5.

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Tom R. Eaton, Aaron Potter, François Billaut, Derek Panchuk, David B. Pyne, Christopher J. Gore, Ting-Ting Chen, Leon McQuade and Nigel K. Stepto

Heat and hypoxia exacerbate central nervous system (CNS) fatigue. We therefore investigated whether essential amino acid (EAA) and caffeine ingestion attenuates CNS fatigue in a simulated team sport–specific running protocol in a hot, hypoxic environment. Subelite male team sport athletes (n = 8) performed a repeat sprint running protocol on a nonmotorized treadmill in an extreme environment on 4 separate occasions. Participants ingested one of four supplements: a double placebo, 3 mg.kg-1 body mass of caffeine + placebo, 2 × 7 g EAA (Musashi Create)+placebo, or caffeine + EAA before each exercise session using a randomized, double-blind crossover design. Electromyography (EMG) activity and quadriceps evoked responses to magnetic stimulation were assessed from the dominant leg at preexercise, halftime, and postexercise. Central activation ratio (CAR) was used to quantify completeness of quadriceps activation. Oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex was measured via near-infrared spectroscopy. Mean sprint work was higher (M = 174 J, 95% CI [23, 324], p < .05, d = 0.30; effect size, likely beneficial) in the caffeine + EAA condition versus EAAs alone. The decline in EMG activity was less (M = 13%, 95% CI [0, 26]; p < .01, d = 0.58, likely beneficial) in caffeine + EAA versus EAA alone. Similarly, the pre- to postexercise decrement in CAR was significantly less (M = −2.7%, 95% CI [0.4, 5.4]; p < .05, d = 0.50, likely beneficial) when caffeine + EAA were ingested compared with placebo. Cerebral oxygenation was lower (M = −5.6%, 95% CI [1.0, 10.1]; p < .01, d = 0.60, very likely beneficial) in the caffeine + EAA condition compared with LNAA alone. Coingestion of caffeine and EAA appears to maintain muscle activation and central drive, with a small improvement in running performance.

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Andreas Apostolidis, Vassilis Mougios, Ilias Smilios, Johanna Rodosthenous and Marios Hadjicharalambous

Caffeine ingestion prior to athletic competition is a popular ergogenic practice. Three out of 4 elite athletes have been reported to employ this practice in anticipation of the improved performance. 1 Indeed, studies have found an increase in aerobic, 2 anaerobic, and neuromuscular performance 3

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Mayur K. Ranchordas, George King, Mitchell Russell, Anthony Lynn and Mark Russell

The prevalence of caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine; C 8 H 10 N 4 O 2 ) usage within elite sport is high, with 75% of athletes having reported its use prior to and/or during competition ( Del Coso et al., 2011 ). The ergogenicity of moderate caffeine doses (i.e., up to 3 mg/kg body mass [BM]) is

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Craig Pickering and Jozo Grgic

Caffeine is a well-established ergogenic aid, with performance-enhancing effects confirmed at the meta-analysis level ( Grgic et al., 2019 ) across a variety of exercise types, including aerobic and muscular endurance, muscle strength, anaerobic power, speed, and jumping performance ( Grgic et

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Neil D. Clarke, Darren L. Richardson, James Thie and Richard Taylor

Caffeine, often in the form of coffee, 1 is frequently supplemented by athletes in an attempt to facilitate improved performance during exercise. However, the available research typically focuses on the ingestion of 3 to 8 mg·kg −1 of anhydrous caffeine rather than coffee. 1 Caffeine

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Jozo Grgic, Filip Sabol, Sandro Venier, Ivan Mikulic, Nenad Bratkovic, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Craig Pickering, David J. Bishop, Zeljko Pedisic and Pavle Mikulic

The use of caffeine is highly prevalent among both the general population and athletes. 1 , 2 The International Olympic Committee has also identified caffeine as having strong scientific support for its ergogenic effects on exercise performance. 3 There is good evidence that caffeine ingestion