REACTION TIME IMPROVES WITH EXERCISE AND CAFFEINE ADMINISTRATION
Ryan, E. J., Jankowski-Wilkinson, A., Bellar, D. M., Kim, C-H., Muller, M. D., Russell, M., Otterstetter, R., Glickman, E. L., & Mamimori, G. H. (June 2, 2010). The effects of caffeine administered in chewing gum on psychomotor performance following acute bouts of exhaustive cycling. Presentation 1477 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.
This study evaluated if low-dose caffeine (200 mg) administered in chewing gum (Stay Alert™) at different times improved psychomotor performance immediately following exhaustive cycling. Healthy, college-aged, physically active males (N = 7) were assessed on five separate occasions. During the first assessment, Ss underwent a graded exercise test on a cycle ergometer to determine maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and practiced the Palm-held psychomotor vigilance task (Palm-PVT). The Palm-PVT is a five-minute test of continuous vigilance which measures simple reaction time to a visual stimulus. For each of the next four visits, two pieces of chewing gum [caffeine or placebo] were administered at three time points, 35 minutes pre-exercise, five minutes pre-exercise, and 15 minutes following the initiation of exercise. In three of the four experimental trials, caffeine was administered at one of the three time points and the placebo at the other two time points. During the control trial, placebo gum was administered at all three time points. The order in which Ss completed the experimental trials was randomized. Following baseline measurements, time allotted for gum administration, and a standard warm-up, Ss cycled at 85% VO2max to volitional exhaustion. Palm-PVT performance was assessed at baseline and immediately post-exercise.
There was a main effect for time for improvements in reaction time following cycling. Reaction time also differed between trials with the 15-minute post-exercise trial being significantly faster than the control trials. No trial by time interaction was observed for reaction time.
Implication. Psychomotor performance improved immediately following acute bouts of exhaustive cycling. Reaction time was significantly faster when caffeine was administered during cycling.
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