The article describes a study examining placebo effects associated with the administration of a hypothetical ergogenic aid in sport. Forty-two team-sport athletes were randomly assigned to 2 groups. All subjects completed 3 × 30-m baseline sprint trials after which they were administered what was described to them as an ergogenic aid but was in fact 200 mg of cornstarch in a gelatin capsule. Group 1 was provided with positive information about the likely effects on performance of the substance, whereas Group 2 was provided with negative information about the same substance. The sprint protocol was repeated 20 min later. Although for Group 1 mean speed did not differ significantly between baseline and experimental trials, a significant linear trend of greater speed with successive experimental trials suggested that positive belief exerted a positive effect on performance (P < 0.01). Group 2 ran 1.57% slower than at baseline (P < 0.01, 95% confidence intervals 0.32–2.82%), suggesting that negative belief exerted a negative effect on performance. Collectively, data suggest that subjects’ belief in the efficacy or otherwise of a placebo treatment might significantly influence findings in experimental research.
Positive and Negative Placebo Effects Resulting from the Deceptive Administration of an Ergogenic Aid
Christopher J. Beedie, Damian A. Coleman, and Abigail J. Foad
Capsaicinoid and Capsinoids as an Ergogenic Aid: A Systematic Review and the Potential Mechanisms Involved
Vilton E.L. de Moura e Silva, Jason M. Cholewa, François Billaut, Ralf Jäger, Marcelo C. de Freitas, Fabio S. Lira, and Fabrício E. Rossi
regarding the effects of CAP on exercise performance. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review was to investigate the effects of CAP compounds as an ergogenic aid and to discuss the underlying mechanisms of action by which these supplements may potentially enhance endurance and resistance exercise
Is Ginseng an Ergogenic Aid?
Michael S. Bahrke, William P. Morgan, and Aaron Stegner
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the world. Although it is used for the treatment and prevention of many ailments, it is also used to increase work efficiency and is purported to increase energy and physical stamina. Athletes use ginseng for its alleged performance-enhancing attributes. However, many studies examining the pharmacological effects of ginseng on physical performance have not employed sound scientific design and methodology. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on published empirical research focusing primarily on the efficacy of ginseng with respect to physical and athletic performance. Despite attempts in recent investigations to improve on the scientific rigor used in examining the ergogenic properties of ginseng, the authors conclude that many of the same methodological shortcomings observed in earlier studies persist. Enhanced physical performance after ginseng administration in well-designed investigations remains to be demonstrated.
Pheromones: A New Ergogenic Aid in Sport?
Marios Papaloucas, Kyriaki Kyriazi, and Vassilis Kouloulias
Nowadays, antidoping laboratories are improving detection methods to confirm the use of forbidden substances. These tests are based both on direct identification of new substances or their metabolites and on indirect evaluation of changes in gene, protein, or metabolite patterns (genomics, proteomics, or metabolomics). The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially monitors anabolic steroids, hormones, growth factors, β-agonists, hormone and metabolic modulators, masking agents, street drugs, manipulation of blood and blood components, chemical and physical manipulation, gene doping, stimulants, narcotics, glucocorticosteroids, and β-blockers. However, several other substances are under review by WAdA. Pheromones accomplish the structure and function of life from its first step, while they have an impact on the body’s performance. Both testosterone and pheromones have an ergogenic effect that could potentially affect an athlete’s performance. The authors share their questions concerning the potential impact of pheromones in sports.
Is Coffee a Useful Source of Caffeine Preexercise?
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
Creatine and Its Application as an Ergogenic Aid
Paul L. Greenhaff
Phosphocreatine (PCr) availability is likely to limit performance in brief, high-power exercise because the depletion of PCr results in an inability to maintain adenosine triphosphate (ATP) resynthesis at the rate required. It is now known that the daily ingestion of four 5-g doses of creatine for 5 days will significantly increase intramuscular creatine and PCr concentrations prior to exercise and will facilitate PCr resynthesis during recovery from exercise, particularly in those individuals with relatively low creatine concentrations prior to feeding. As a consequence of creatine ingestion, work output during repeated bouts of high-power exercise has been increased under a variety of experimental conditions. The reduced accumulation of ammonia and hypoxanthine in plasma and the attenuation of muscle ATP degradation after creatine feeding suggest that the ergogenic effect of creatine is achieved by better maintaining ATP turnover during contraction.
Will Caffeine Work as an Ergogenic Aid? The Latest Research
Brent C. Mangus and Cynthia A. Trowbridge
Coffee Ingestion Enhances 1-Mile Running Race Performance
Neil D. Clarke, Darren L. Richardson, James Thie, and Richard Taylor
performance in ecologically valid situations, such as a competitive race. Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide insight into the effectiveness of coffee ingestion as an ergogenic aid prior to a 1-mile (1609 m) race in trained males. Methods Participants A total of 15 trained middle-distance male
The Effects of Different Forms of Caffeine Supplement on 5-km Running Performance
Peter J. Whalley, Chey G. Dearing, and Carl D. Paton
Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) is the most widely consumed of all psychoactive drugs and is frequently used by athletes as a performance-enhancing ergogenic aid. A number of previous reviews have comprehensively documented the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine for both aerobic- 1 , 2
The Effect of Caffeine as an Ergogenic Aid in Anaerobic Exercise
Kathleen Woolf, Wendy K. Bidwell, and Amanda G. Carlson
The study examined caffeine (5 mg/kg body weight) vs. placebo during anaerobic exercise. Eighteen male athletes (24.1 ± 5.8 yr; BMI 26.4 ± 2.2 kg/m2) completed a leg press, chest press, and Wingate test. During the caffeine trial, more total weight was lifted with the chest press, and a greater peak power was obtained during the Wingate test. No differences were observed between treatments for the leg press and average power, minimum power, and power drop (Wingate test). There was a significant treatment main effect found for postexercise glucose and insulin concentrations; higher concentrations were found in the caffeine trial. A significant interaction effect (treatment and time) was found for cortisol and glucose concentrations; both increased with caffeine and decreased with placebo. Postexercise systolic blood pressure was significantly higher during the caffeine trial. No differences were found between treatments for serum free-fatty-acid concentrations, plasma lactate concentrations, serum cortisol concentrations, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion. Thus, a moderate dose of caffeine resulted in more total weight lifted for the chest press and a greater peak power attained during the Wingate test in competitive athletes.