LOW-DOSE CAFFEINE DOES NOT IMPROVE SPRINT SWIMMING BUT DOES AFFECT SLEEP
Burke, L. M., Anderson, M. E., & Pyne, D. B. (2006). Low dose caffeine intake and sprint performance in swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1330.
This study investigated the effects of low doses of caffeine on 100-m swimming performance. Elite swimmers (N = 15) undertook a 100 m "race” on two occasions one week apart, 60 minutes after consuming either 2 mg/kg caffeine or a placebo. Diet and training were standardized for 24 hours before the trials and the warm-up prior to each race. Swimmers performed their preferred stroke. Ss completed a questionnaire that tracked their sleep patterns for the evening after each "race”.
There was no performance enhancement in reaction time, 50-m split time, or 100 m time for the caffeine trial compared with placebo. However, ratings of perceived effort were lower for the caffeine trial. Self-reported measures of sleep were affected by caffeine supplementation increasing the time taken to fall to sleep and reducing the self-rating of quality of sleep.
Implication. Sprint swimming performance was not improved following supplementation with low levels of caffeine. Caffeine intake did affect post-race sleep and is an important consideration in sports in which an athlete must compete over several days.
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