B F Viana et al, 2020. Caffeine increases motor output entropy and performance in a 4 km cycling time trial, PLoS One, Volume 15 (8)

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ABSTRACT

Caffeine improves cycling time trial performance through enhanced motor output and muscle recruitment. However, it is unknown if caffeine further increases power output entropy. To investigate the effects of caffeine effects on cycling time trial performance and motor output entropy (MOEn), nine cyclists (VO2MAX of 55 ± 6.1 mL.kg.-1min-1) performed a 4 km cycling time trial (TT4km) after caffeine and placebo ingestion in a counterbalanced order. Power output data were sampled at a 2 Hz frequency, thereafter entropy was estimated on a sliding-window fashion to generate a power output time series. A number of mixed models compared performance and motor output entropy between caffeine and placebo every 25% of the total TT4km distance. Caffeine ingestion improved power output by 8% (p = 0.003) and increased MOEn by 7% (p = 0.018). Cyclists adopted a U-shaped pacing strategy after caffeine ingestion. MOEn mirrored power output responses as an inverted U-shape MOEn during the time trial. Accordingly, a strong inverse correlation was observed between MOEn and power output responses over the last 25% of the TT4km (p < 0.001), regardless of the ingestion, likely reflecting the end spurt during this period (p = 0.016). Caffeine ingestion improved TT4km performance and motor output responses likely due to a greater power output entropy.

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