Foskett, A., Ali, A., & Grant, N. (2008). Caffeine ingestion and skill performance during simulated soccer activity. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number, 2031.

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This study examined the influence of caffeine on physiological and performance parameters during simulated soccer-game activity. Male competitive soccer players (N = 10) performed two 90-minute soccer-specific intermittent running trials, separated by seven days. On each occasion, Ss ingested a gelatinous capsule containing 6 mg/kgBW of either anhydrous caffeine powder or a placebo in a double-blind fashion along with 500 ml of water 60 minutes before exercise. Heart rate, 15-minute sprint performance, counter-movement jump height, and ratings of perceived exertion were measured during exercise. Movement time, penalty time accrued, and total time were recorded for the soccer passing test; performed before and every 15 minutes during the soccer-specific intermittent running trials. Water (3 ml/kgBW) was ingested every 15 minutes during the trials.

Penalty time was significantly lower in the caffeine trial leading to a significantly lower total time in this trial. There were no differences between trials in movement time, sprint performance, heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, or counter-movement jump. Caffeine did not enhance diuresis, because of similar body mass losses and post-exercise urine specific gravity values between conditions.

Implication. Caffeine ingestion before a soccer match play appears to improve the passing accuracy and ball control of players without any detrimental effects to other physiological or performance parameters.

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