Potgieter, S., Smith, C., Warnich, L., & Wright, H. H. (2013). The effect of caffeine supplementation on olympic-distance triathlon performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 1109.

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This study evaluated the effect of caffeine supplementation (6 mg/kg body weight) on Olympic-distance triathlon performance. Triathletes (M = 14; F = 12) participated in a double-blind, randomized, crossover, controlled, clinical field trial. Data were collected during two Olympic-distance triathlons.

Caffeine supplementation had the most profound effect on swim time (3.7% reduction) when considered for all Ss. Males showed a reduction of 4.5% and females 2.8%. This effect was also observed in the overall time to complete the triathlon (a 1.3% reduction) in all Ss. Males reduced their time by 1.7% and females by 0.9%.

Implication. Caffeine enhanced triathlon performance, but the effect was not as pronounced as seen in previous laboratory trials. Caffeine supplementation taken 45-60 minutes before an Olympic-distance triathlon exerted the greatest effect on swimming performance as well as on the overall time to completion in the whole group.

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