VanBruggen, M. D., Campos, M., Olson, B. A., & Claypool, D. (2008). The effect of caffeine on maximal oxygen consumption and lactate threshold in cross-country runners. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number, 2030.

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a low caffeine dose on VO2max and lactate threshold. A low dose of caffeine (3 mg/kg) was used to minimize the risk of side effects. Male collegiate cross-country runners (N = 9) were tested on two separate occasions: once with caffeine and once with a placebo. The treatments were anhydrous caffeine mixed in eight ounces of an artificially sweetened grape beverage (the caffeine condition) or eight ounces of the grape beverage (the placebo condition). VO2max was determined using a treadmill, metabolic system, and an individualized protocol. Ss dismounted the treadmill for 10-12 seconds every two minutes so blood lactate levels could be measured simultaneously with the VO2max test. Ss provided urine samples before and after each test to assess hydration status.

Caffeine produced significant mean increases of 4.2% for VO2max and 3.8% for lactate threshold compared to placebo.

Implication. A low dose of caffeine [3 mg/kg] significantly increases aerobic capacity and lactate threshold.

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