Ingestion of a Moderately High Caffeine Dose Before Exercise Increases Postexercise Energy Expenditure

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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Caffeine is an ergogenic aid widely used before and during prolonged exercise. Due to its prolonged biological half-life caffeine effects could remain after exercise. We aimed to investigate the metabolic, respiratory, and cardiovascular postexercise responses to preexercise graded caffeine ingestion. Twelve aerobically trained subjects (mean VO2max = 54 ± 7 ml · min−1 · kg−1) cycled for 60-min at 75% VO2max after ingesting placebo (0 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight) or 0.5, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 mg · kg−1 on five occasions. During the 3 hr postexercise, heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, lactate, and fatty acids were analyzed. None of these variables were statistically affected by preexercise caffeine ingestion between 0.5 and 4.5 mg · kg−1. However, ingestion of 4.5 mg · kg−1 of caffeine raised postexercise energy expenditure 15% above placebo (233 ± 58 vs. 202 ± 49 kcal/3 hr; p < .05). Ventilation and tidal volume were elevated after the 4.5 mg·kg−1 caffeine dose above placebo (9.2 ± 2.5 L · min−1 and 0.67 ± 0.29 L · breath−1 vs. 7.8 ± 1.5 L · min−1 and 0.56 ± 0.20 L · breath−1, respectively; p < .05). Ventilation correlated with tidal volume (r = .45; p < .05) and energy expenditure (r = .72; p < .05). In summary, preexercise ingestion of ergogenic caffeine doses do not alter postexercise cardiovascular responses. However, ingestion of 4.5 mg · kg−1 of caffeine raises 3-hr postexercise energy expenditure (i.e., 31 kcal) likely through increased energy cost of ventilation.

Fernández-Elías, Hamouti, Ortega, and Mora-Rodríguez are with the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain. Coso is with the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Camilo José Cela University, Madrid, Spain. Muñoz and Muñoz-Guerra are with the Spanish Antidoping Agency, Doping Control Laboratory, Madrid, Spain.

Address author correspondence to Ricardo Mora-Rodríguez at