Duhon, J., Cottrell, T., Lozano, A. T., Aburto-Pratt, K., & Astorino, T. A. (2012). Increased time-trial performance with caffeine ingestion is independent of fitness level. Presentation 2780 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study examined the effects of caffeine intake on cycling performance in both endurance trained (N = 8) and recreationally active (N = 8) males. Ss completed five trials of cycling on an electrically-braked cycle ergometer, with each bout separated by at least 48 hours. Ss completed two familiarization trials and three experimental trials over two to three weeks, with sessions consisting of a 10 km time-trial simulating competitive cycling characterized by changes in terrain. Drinks administered included two boluses of 5 mg/kg caffeine (C1 and C2) or placebo (PL = 5 mg/kg of glucose), mixed with 255 mL of cold water, diet 7-Up, and 1 package of Crystal Light and ingested one hour pre-exercise. Ss were told that drinks contained carbohydrate to minimize placebo effects of caffeine. Heart rate, Rating of Perceived Exertion, and time were recorded every 1.6 km.

VO2max was higher in trained than in active men. Time-trial performance was significantly increased in both caffeine trials versus placebo for both groups of men however, there was no difference observed across fitness levels. In both groups, 6 of 8 men improved performance in C1 and C2 compared to placebo. Heart rate and rating of perceived exertion increased during exercise and were similar across treatments.

Implication. Caffeine was ergogenic for brief (< 20 minutes) “all-out” cycling performances in highly trained and moderately active individuals.

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