Caffeine Supplementation and Reactive Agility in Elite Youth Soccer Players

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study examined the effects of caffeine supplementation (6 mg·kg−1) on performance of a reactive agility test (RAT) in 17 elite, male, youth (M = 14 y) soccer players. Using a double-blind, repeated-measures design, players completed 4 days of testing on the RAT after a standardized warm-up. On day 1, anthropometric measurements were taken and players were accommodated to the RAT. On day 2, baseline performance was established. Caffeine or placebo conditions were randomly assigned on day 3 and the condition was reversed on day 4. Players completed 3 randomized trials of the RAT on days 2, 3, and 4 with at least 1 trial to the players’ dominant and nondominant sides. There were no significant differences among conditions in reaction time (RT) to the dominant side, heart rates at any point of measurement, or ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) after completion of the warm-up. Caffeine produced faster RT to the nondominant side (P = .041) and higher RPE at the conclusion of the RAT (P = .013). The effect on the total time (TT) to complete the agility test to the nondominant side approached significance (P = .051). Sprint time and TT to either side did not differ. Caffeine supplementation may provide ergogenic benefit to elite, male, youth soccer players.

Jordan is with the Dept. of Health and Human Performance, Cumberland University, Lebanon, TN. Korgaokar is with the Dept. of Health and Human Performance, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN. Farley, Coons, and Caputo are with the Dept. of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. Address author correspondence to J. Bradley Jordan at bjordan@cumberland.edu.