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The purpose of this work was to determine the effects of caffeine on high intensity time trial (TT) cycling performance in well-trained subjects.
Six male cyclists with the following physical characteristics (mean ± SD) age 30.7 ± 12, height 179.3 ± 7.5 cm, mass 70.0 ± 7.5 kg, VO2max 65.0 ± 6.3 mL·kg−1·min−1 undertook three 1-h TT performances, control (C), placebo (P) and caffeine (CAF), on a Velotron cycle ergometer conducted in a double-blind, random fashion. Subjects rested for 60 min and were then given CAF or P in a dose of 6 mg·kg−1 body mass and then commenced exercise after another 60 min of rest. Before ingestion, 60 min postingestion, and at the end of the TT, finger-prick blood samples were analyzed for lactate.
The cyclists rode significantly further in the CAF trial (28.0 ± 1.3 km) than they did in the C (26.3 ± 1.5 km, P < .01) or P (26.4 ± 1.5 km, P < .02) trials. No differences were seen in heart rate data throughout the TT (P > .05). Blood lactate levels were significantly higher at the end of the trials than either at rest or postingestion (P < .0001), but there were no differences between the three trial groups.
On the basis of the data, we concluded that performance was improved with the use of a caffeine supplement.
McNaughton, Lovell, Siegler, Midgley, and Moore are with the Applied Physiology Laboratory, University of Hull, U.K., and Bentley is with Health and Exercise Science, School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, Australia.