Coso, J. D., Mamouti, N., Fernandez-Elias, B., Ortega, J. F., Munoz-Guerra, J., & Mora-Rodriguez, R. (2010). Dose-response benefits of caffeine ingestion on sprint performance during high-intensity exercise. Presentation 925 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study determined if caffeine ingestion improved sprint performance in a dose-response manner. Trained cyclists (N = 8) received 0 (placebo), 1, 3, 6, or 9 mg/kgBW of caffeine·one hour before performing 65 minutes of high-intensity exercise (78% VO2max). Maximal anaerobic cycling power was assessed at 15-minute intervals using an all-out four-second sprint test. Oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were measured after 10 and 60 minutes of exercise.

Caffeine improved maximal anaerobic cycling power. The increase in VO2 between 10 and 60 minutes of exercise (i.e., metabolic drift) was reduced by caffeine ingestion while heart rate drift was unaffected.

Implication. Caffeine improved sprint performance in a dose-response manner; while 1 mg/kg (~1 cup of coffee or 1 can of cola) had marginal effects on sprint performance, 9 mg/kg improved maximal power by 5%. Caffeine also reduced the metabolic drift produced during high-intensity exercise by increasing VO2 early in exercise.

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