Hudson, G. M., Green, M., Bishop, P., & Richardson, M. (2007). Effects of caffeine and aspirin on resistance training performance, RPE, and pain perception. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 1586.

This study compared effects of caffeine and aspirin on muscular endurance (number of repetitions), heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, and perceived pain index during repeated resistance training sets performed to volitional failure. College-aged males (N = 15) participated in three independent sessions wherein aspirin (10 mg/kg body weight), caffeine (6 mg/kg body weight), or a matched placebo were ingested one hour before exercise. Rating of perceived exertion, heart rate, perceived pain index, and repetitions per set and in total exercise were measured at 100% of individual predetermined 12 RM for leg extensions and seated arm curls.

Caffeine resulted in significantly more total repetitions for leg extensions and repetitions in the first set of both exercises when compared to aspirin and placebo. Caffeine also resulted in a significantly lower perceived pain index versus placebo in arm curls Set 4. Perceived pain index and rating of perceived exertion were significantly greater for aspirin than placebo in leg extensions Set 1. On a post-session survey, Ss reported significantly higher feelings of restlessness, tremors, and stomach distress when taking caffeine.

Implication. Caffeine offered some isolated ergogenic benefit but not overall for resistance training. Caffeine could disrupt the feeling of athlete's wellness. Aspirin offered no benefit for resistance exercise.

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