Whelan, H. K., & Drinkwater, D. T. (1999). Effect of caffeine ingestion on high-intensity intermittent exercise performance in athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 2067.

This study assessed whether acute caffeine ingestion improves high-intensity intermittent exercise performance. College athletes (M = 9; F = 8) performed caffeine (6 mg/kgBW) and placebo trials, one week apart. This dose produces levels acceptable to International Olympic Committee drug rules. The test task was 3 x 30-seconds sprinting on a treadmill, each separated by two minutes of walking, and finally, a sprint to exhaustion.

Caffeine did not significantly alter time to exhaustion, ratings of perceived exertion, blood lactate, or respiratory exchange ratio. There was a statistically insignificant performance improvement in the caffeine group (6 of 9 males, 5 of 8 females, for an average of 4% improvement).

It is possible that some athletes will respond in this type of work with acceptable levels of caffeine ingestion.

Implication. Acceptable levels of caffeine might assist some athletes to improve exhausting sprint performances.

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